President Donald Trump recently released his first budget blueprint, “America First: A Budget to Make America Great Again.” Trump’s budget outlines his administration’s priorities for discretionary spending.
According to several news reports, the Trump administration relied on The Heritage Foundation’s 2017 “Blueprint for Balance” to generate some of the key concepts outlined in Trump’s proposal.
“The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation,” The Hill reports.
“Many of the White House proposal’s ideas are identical to a budget blueprint Heritage drew up last year,” The Intercept writes.
And shortly before the release of Heritage's new 2018 Blueprint for Balance, The Washington Post wrote that the “Trump budget owes a huge debt” to Heritage. The piece explains that the administration “turned to … the Heritage Foundation — for inspiration” when formulating plans for the president’s skinny budget.
The Post also wrote that when the administration rolls out more detailed plans for tax and spending, Heritage could once “again display its influence.”
There are 53 specific instances where Trump’s proposed budget blueprint mirrors Heritage’s suggestions.
Some of the suggestions the Trump administration adopted from Heritage’s “Blueprint for Balance” include the following:
- Eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission
- Eliminating the National Endowment for Arts
- Reducing funding for Environmental Protection Agency programs
- Eliminating or reducing over 20 categorical programs that do not address national needs
- Terminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, reduces spending on Formula Grants
- Eliminating competitive project grant programs
Paul Winfree, a former Heritage Foundation expert and now the White House’s director of budget policy and deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, played a role in drafting Trump’s budget blueprint.
Winfree served as lead author on Heritage’s February 2016 budget blueprint.
Before the election, Heritage scholars created the blueprint for the incoming president and Congress to implement conservative policies, according to Romina Boccia, deputy director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Grover M. Hermann research fellow.
“It’s reassuring to see that many of Heritage’s policy proposals are reflected by the administration in the president’s recent budget request,” Boccia said.
“Our country needs the serious reforms outlined in the ‘Blueprint for Balance’ in order to rein in the bloated Washington bureaucracy, strengthen national defense, and unleash economic growth and economic freedom,” she added.
Trump is scheduled to release his full budget in May, which will include not only discretionary spending but also mandatory spending, a tax plan, and additional policy proposals.