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Stranger Than Fiction

There are aspects to the political world that are far more intriguing than a budget presentation. No one is debating that. But, I feel like budgets say a whole lot more about what people are actually prioritizing than any speech or promise could.

Think about yourself when you look at the credit card bill at the end of the month. Sure, there’s $30 going toward the new gym membership, but the $120 dollars going toward that Chinese takeout place says a considerable amount more about the state of your diet than the gym ever could.

As this concept applies to you, a college student struggling to uncover what’s most important in your life, it applies also to the Federal Government. Recently, most news outlets have been covering rhetoric from the Oval Office regarding immigration reform and DACA, the Russia investigation and gun control. But, the budget proposal itself does not prioritize these issues like the speeches do. Sure, there’s $18 billion being requested for to build the wall, but that’s hardly a response to DACA.

Trump did slide in a request for $686 billion for the Defense Department. This is an increase that is almost unprecedented in the history of the United States at approximately $80 billion. With the foreboding ambiance that only money can give us, the Department has defended this increase by saying it will help defend the nation from rising threats in Russia and China. Alongside the growth of the defense budget, Trump also proposed $2 billion for the creation of a new FBI headquarters meaning that the capabilities of the Bureau can increase dramatically.

With the proposed budget on the table, the real priorities of the administration have come to light, and the military ranks on top. This is a deeply frightening situation as someone who is of age to participate in widespread conflict. Why would we expand our defenses if we don’t intend to use them? The question of what the administration has actually wanted has been stirring around in my mind since Trump’s election. I feel like this budget proposal has, for the first time, cemented what the administration is pursuing. I can’t say I’m a fan.

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