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Trump administration considers slashing federal funding in new budget
Kirill Abbakumov   on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 8:30:00 am

The Trump administration plans to release an outline of its fiscal 2018 budget request on March 14, a late submission that is likely to delay the appropriations process. Trump intends to submit what is described as a "skinny budget" that offers a broad outline of his fiscal goals. No target date has been set for releasing a complete budget request.

Yet there are reports that the Trump administration is considering adopting a budget blueprint designed by the Heritage Foundation to slash trillions of dollars of federal spending. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that proposes to cut or eliminate many federal programs that support businesses and investments, in an effort to cut $10 trillion from the budget deficit over 10 years. In line with Trump administration’s desire to balance the budget deficit, the Foundation proposes to eliminate key federal programs such as Export-Import Bank, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer initiatives, which are essential in promoting state-level economic development programs that maximize the benefits of economic competition.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is one of the numerous bodies claiming that the Heritage plan has a potential to severely harm U.S. innovation, production, and competitiveness. ITIF President Rob Atkinson -- a keynote speaker at the upcoming 2017 FED Forum -- has concluded an analysis that the country has suffered for more than a decade from chronic underinvestment in foundational areas such as science, technology, education, and infrastructure. To foster an innovative and competitive economy in a turbulent and sometimes hostile world, the U.S. government must continue to improve and expand the programs available found in Departments of Labor, Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Economic Development, and Small Business Administration. Many of these federal programs compensate for serious market failures and play a pivotal role in ensuring that United States is succeeding in global economic competition.

The United States continues to suffer from underinvestment, and the combined failure of the public and private sectors to invest sufficiently is undermining the national economy. All sectors in American society need to work together to spur economic development and to revitalize research, technology, industry, education, and infrastructure. Crippling key functions of the federal government, which would be the consequence of adopting Heritage Foundation’s budget blueprint, will set America back even further.