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President's Budget Plan and Colorado Nonprofits

Jul 7, 2017


"A New Foundation for American Greatness" is the title of the President's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Plan. The President states that the plan would replace "current economic stagnation with faster economic growth" based on eight pillars of reform:

  • Health Reform- restoring choice and competition and lowering cost by repealing Obamacare and reforming Medicaid.
    • The plan gives states a choice between a per capita cap or block grant for Medicaid and encourages them to be innovative with their programs
  • Tax Reform and Simplification- reducing tax burdens on workers and businesses to save time and resources and maximize income and economic growth
  • Immigration Reform- increasing funding for border security,enforcement,and initiatives to reduce violent crime
  • Reductions in Federal Spending-ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively on the highest national priorities
  • Regulatory Rollback- building regulatory frameworks that stimulate job creation; eliminate outdated, unnecesary, or ineffective regulations
  • American Energy Development- increasing development of energy resources, strengthen national security, and lower the price of fuels and consumer goods
  • Welfare Reform-reforming the system so that it does not discourage able-bodied adults from working, which takes away resources from real need
  • Education Reform- returning decisions back to the state and local levels; advance opportunities to choose the school that best fits parents' and students' needs.

The plan assumes vigorous economic growth, accelerating from 1.6 percent in 2016 to 3 percent in 2021. which enables a balanced budget by 2027. This exceeds the Congressional Budget Office's projection of an average of 1.9 percent annual   growth over the next decade.  

This budget proposes a $52 billion increase in defense spending above the 2017 level. This increase would be paid for by eliminating a number of non-defense discretionary programs, reducing this funding by $54 billion, and reducing this budget category by 2 percent per year for the next decade.

Implications for Nonprofits

Although having sufficient defense funding is an essential priority for the federal budget, so is funding programs that support the well-being of communities and local economies throughout the country. Certainly, it often makes sense to reduce spending on programs that are ineffective and wasteful. But these programs ought to be reviewed individually. Implementing cuts based on arbitrary, across- the-board formulas makes it difficult to determine which programs are truly essential.

If nonprofits are expected to fill the gaps when federal programs are eliminated, policymakers should first consider if nonprofits can generate the philanthropic resources to meet the needs of those no longer served by federal programs. Elimination of many of these programs would also mean elimination of grant funding that helps nonprofits deliver services in partnership with the federal government.

List of Defunded Programs and Agencies

The following document is a running list of programs and agencies that would be defunded if the President's budget is fully implemented by Congress. We have highlighted the programs and agencies that appear to be more relevant to Colorado's nonprofit sector. It's important to keep in mind that this is a budget request. Congress may choose to include all, some, or none of it when developing the federal budget and appropriations.

We welcome your feedback on how these proposed changes could affect the work of your organization or if other programs should be similarly highlighted.

  List of Federal Programs