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Trump says budget builds upon first year successes in WH unveiling

US President Donald Trump takes part in a meeting on infrastructure with state and local officials in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. /

Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

The White House unveiled its $4.4 trillion spending plan which is proposing a huge increase in defense spending while cutting taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. In the president's budget message to Congress, Mr. Trump wrote that the budget for fiscal year 2019 "builds upon our incredible successes over the past year" and rests on such pillars like "ending wasteful spending" and "preserving peace through strength."

The president touted his administration's efforts in overhauling the nation's tax code in his message which is included in the Office of Management and Budget's formal budget report. In it he says "a great spirit of optimism continues to sweep across our Nation. Americans can once again be truly confident that our brightest days are ahead of us."

Mr. Trump's first budget last year projected that the government would achieve a small surplus by 2027. But the new budget never gets to balance. It proposes $7.1 trillion in red ink over the next decade, basically doubling last year's forecast.

The new plan, for the 2019 budget year, seeks increases in such areas as building the border wall and fighting the opioid epidemic. Complicating matters, Mr. Trump last week signed a $300 billion measure to boost defense and domestic spending, negating many of the cuts in his new budget plan.

The budget also shows the administration's concern about the threat from North Korea and its missile program.

The Pentagon is proposing to spend hundreds of millions more in 2019 on missile defense.

The budget calls for increasing the number of strategic missile interceptors from 44 to 64. The additional 20 interceptors would be based at Fort Greely, Alaska. Critics question the reliability of the interceptors, arguing that years of testing have yet to prove them effective against sophisticated threats.

The Pentagon also would invest more heavily in the ship-based Aegis system and the Army's Patriot air and missile defense system. Both are designed to defend against missiles with ranges shorter than the intercontinental ballistic missile that is of greatest U.S. concern in the context of North Korea.

"The Budget reflects our commitment to the safety, prosperity, and security of the American people. The more room our economy has to grow, and the more American companies are freed from constricting over-regulation, the stronger and safer we become as a Nation," the president added in his message.