When President Donald Trump released his first budget this week proposing to cut a range of agencies and programs, he declared, in an accompanying message “our budget blueprint insists on $54 billion in reductions to non-defense programs.” He said: “We are going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people.”
Many of Trump’s proposals will not be greeted warmly on Capitol Hill. And, to be sure the $54 billion in non-defense cuts he put forth are matched by $54 billion in defense spending increases. So that focus on “lean” does not extend to the Pentagon, and there is no overall spending reduction to help get rising deficits under control.

What’s more, members of both parties defend subsidy programs that aid their states. Still, the broad sweep of Trump’s proposals gives him a strong starting position in budget negotiations. Since he dishes out the pain widely, his cuts will be perceived as being fair, as least by Republican voters.