"In other words, as painful as some of these cuts are going to be, they are only a few drops in the ocean of debt we must eventually eliminate."
Way back when (in the 1980's), when Ronald Wilson Reagan was the POTUS, he too, was confronted with a dilapidated military. Probably even in worse shape than our current forces are. Now I am not saying this is a derogatory manner - I have the utmost respect for our fighting men and women. However, our military does require care and feeding. And under President Obama, our military became somewhat malnourished.
President Reagan made a deal with Speaker Tip O'Neill. He could get extra money to spruce up the military, and Tip would make the appropriate cuts in other programs. Never happened. We did get an awesome upgrade to our military, which in just a few short years caused the Soviet Union to throw in the towel. However, Reagan got tagged with the unfair label as a "big spender".
Reagan had a Democratic controlled House for all eight of his years. As we know, the House is (supposed to be) where the money starts and is accounted for. So when Tip O'Neill stabbed the Gipper in the back, it really was the Democrat controlled House's fault. However, it still went on Reagan's report card.
Today, we have a new President who is bent on bringing our military up to snuff. To do so, he wants to offset the increased costs for the military with cuts to the EPA, education and HUD. With a Republican controlled House and Senate, President Trump should get just about everything he wants. And here is where the rubber meets the road. The federal government, known by some as "Uncle Sugar" is now going to contract in some areas instead of grow. And that is going to be a big conundrum for some states.
With not as much money pouring into the public trough from the feds, I believe one of three things is going to happen: 1) The state will pick it up the slack, 2) Non-profits will pick some of it up or 3) We will all do without as much. When the magnitude of these reductions really become known, be prepared to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth. People who are used to the non-stop flow of "Uncle Sugar's" money, will soon find the needle coming out of their arms.
Even thought President Trump has never been known as a Constitutional type guy - what he is doing now with the budget does smack a bit of how things are suppose to be. One of the major duties of the federal government is to provide for the defense of the states. Whereas many of the other things the federal government has taken on are extra-Constitutional.
In any event, it will be nice to see our "Uncle Sugar" go on a bit of a diet. Truthfully, to get rid of that spare tire he has developed (our $20T debt), "Uncle Sugar" will have to do the South Beach diet, Atkins diet, Slim-fast, Nutra System and a starvation diet all at the same time. In other words, as painful as some of these cuts are going to be, they are only a few drops in the ocean of debt we must eventually eliminate.