Poor and disabled big losers in Trump budget; military wins

The proposal reflects a conservative vision of smaller government, a drastic rollback of programs for the poor and disabled and robust hikes for the military and border security.

"I hardly know where to begin to say what would do the most harm to the future of our country and the future of our researchers", Rush Holt, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told reporters.

Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney, defending an administration that promises more economic growth than many think it can deliver, said Tuesday it's the Obama administration that went overboard in its forecasts for growth. If Congress allows either fund to run dry, millions of Americans living on fixed incomes would face steep cuts in benefits. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., calls the budget a massive transfer of wealth from working families and the elderly to the wealthiest 1 percent. "We reject that pessimism". It would cut trillions of dollars in discretionary spending for social-welfare programs that millions of Americans rely on, like Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and food stamps.

Trump's proposed budget is an attempt to make good on campaign promises the businessman-turned-politician made throughout 2016, when he fired up crowds by pledging to cut government waste, remake the way government interacts with Americans and cut politically unpopular programs.

An internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan in February estimated the total cost for the wall at $21.6 billion, but the White House's budget proposal for 2018, released in full on Tuesday, included a request for just $1.6 billion. In fact, those improper payments alone outstrip the $100 billion a year in total safety-net spending reductions the Trump budget proposes. "We're going to do the best we can", said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Under Trump's proposal, the Title II Food Aid program, which makes up the bulk of USA worldwide food assistance, would be eliminated entirely, representing a $1.7 billion cut. "Clearly Congress will take that budget and then work on our own budget, which is the case every single year but at least we now have common objectives: grow the economy, balance the budget, so we are now on that common ground and we will have a great debate about the details and how to achieve those goals".

The budget plan may face rough sledding in Congress, where both Republicans and Democrats have said they do not support such drastic cuts to USA diplomacy and foreign aid.

John Cornyn, R-Texas, said as he predicted the Medicaid cuts wouldn't survive the Senate. "They're really deep, deep cuts", said Republican Representative Hal Rogers, whose eastern Kentucky district relies heavily on federal aid.

Another senior Republican lawmaker, Fred Upton of MI, questioned inclusion of money for Trump's border wall, remarking: "I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall, why is this in our budget?"

House Speaker Paul Ryan stopped short of embracing the administration's budget projections.

Obamacare: The budget assumes that President Barack Obama's health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, is repealed and replaced and that undoing it would save $250 billion over 10 years.

He also describes the president's recommendations as a "message budget to the right wing of the party".

U.S. President Donald Trump is proposing major changes in the way Washington's $4.1 trillion budget is spent, with more money for the military, border security, and veterans.

-The Poor, Part III: Trump's budget would cut funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by $22 billion over the next decade. "For the first time in a long time the administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are paying the taxes".

Furman also says it's been almost a decade since the last recession, and just about every economist believes another is inevitable over the next decade.

The spending document says the administration would meet its $1 trillion target through a mix of new federal funding, incentives for private sector investment and expedited projects that "would not have happened but for the administration's involvement".

  • Larry Hoffman