Trump budget: More for the military, less for the poor
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 8:00
$3.6 trillion The spending cuts over the decade that the White House says would bring about a balanced budget.
The proposal also adds $2.6 billion for border security and immigration enforcement - including $1.6 billion for building a wall on the US-Mexican border, one of Trump's controversial campaign promises.
"We're no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we help get off those programs", said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and a former tea party congressman.
Trump's new budget is based on sustained growth above 3 percent, sharply higher than the expectations of most private economists. Joe Manchin say the budget would essentially eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission, which got $120 million a year ago.
"President Trump's FY18 budget seeks to cut $4.3 trillion over 10 years from programs that support our most vulnerable and at the same time cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans".
Trump has criticized the ongoing increase in entitlements pushed by his predecessor Barack Obama during and after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, since this does not provide incentives for people to return to the labour market and contributes to an disequilibrium in the public accounts.
Trump's package of spending cuts and tax breaks assumes an economic growth rate of 3%, which many analysts have dismissed as improbable.
On May 22, the Trump administration unveiled its 2018 budget, calling for over $1 trillion in cuts to programs for Americans in poverty and the middle class within the next decade.
The budget does feature a handful of domestic initiatives, including a six-week paid parental leave program championed by Trump's daughter, Ivanka.
The new budget plan builds on Trump's March proposals, adding details to his goal of boosting defense spending by $54 billion, a 10 percent increase, for this year, with that boost financed by an equal cut to nondefense programs.
Trump's budget holds true to his campaign pledge to leave Medicare and Social Security pension benefits alone and contains spending increases for the military and veterans, but it treats most of the rest of the government as fair game.
Republicans who control the U.S. Congress - and the federal purse strings - will decide whether to make politically sensitive cuts, and the proposal is unlikely to be approved in its current form.
The plan drew immediate fire from lobby groups, including from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which said it relied on "rosy assumptions", gimmicks and unrealistic cuts.
The budget proposal envisions cuts to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, a cornerstone of USA global health assistance, which supports HIV/AIDS treatment, testing and counseling for millions of people worldwide.
The budget plan will boost economic growth by fostering capital investment and creating jobs for workers who gave up their job hunts during tough times, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. There are deep cuts to social programs and spurious accounting.
"I mean I think this budget proposal as it's come forward would make every economic and social problem in Maine and America gravely worse", she says. It proposes new restrictions on government-subsidized crop insurance, a program that is particular favorite of grain farmers. And he proposes cutting $928 million from a federal program to help fund local transit projects next year.
"Hardworking Maine people who pay taxes expect a government that works for them, but they are the ones who will suffer when the tax cuts proposed in this budget directly benefit those who need it least".
The bill aims to gut the Obama administration's signature 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, that expanded insurance coverage and the government-run Medicaid programme for the poor. Czwartacki objected to calling that a cut, saying the Trump administration will be limited by anticipated tax revenue that will not match planned spending.