Trump budget proposal cuts programs used by hundreds of thousands in Utah
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 16:46
For fiscal 2018, the budget would also shift 54 billion dollars from non-defense discretionary spending to defense by enacting major cuts to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies.
One might think these draconian cuts at least serve the goal of two grand Trump promises: "Quickly" reducing the $18 trillion federal debt and boosting economic growth by 3%.
Calling it "a taxpayer-first budget", Mick Mulvaney, Director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, said the administration would place great weight on the interests of taxpayers rather than those who need government help. In total, this meant roughly $3.6 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Administration officials defended these measures as a way to reduce government support they contend is keeping millions of Americans out of the work force and thus reducing economic growth.
Likewise, a 10-year, $191 billion reduction in food stamps - nearly 30 percent - far exceeds prior proposals by Capitol Hill Republicans. "Such drastic reductions to medical research, Medicaid and other programs at the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education would have a devastating impact on the health of all Americans". In 2016, 44 percent of people who received food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were children, according to its website.
"We looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills", he said.
The impact of those cuts, however, is dwarfed by proposed restrictions on the SNAP program, which helps the poor buy food. "If you are on food stamps and you are able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you are on disability and you should not be, we need you to go back to work".
What is more curious, however, is that the Trump administration is simultaneously planning to increase the Pentagon's budget by about 10 percent.
The budget includes a $200 billion increase in infrastructure spending over the next decade.
The budget also includes a surprise that's particularly unwelcome to big Midwestern farmers.
But it also proposes more spending in several areas.
The White House, however, says the naysayers have it wrong. The president's budget would allocate $2.6 billion for planning, designing, and constructing the border wall and its surrounding securities, but Republican leaders estimate the wall could cost as much as $15 billion.
The budget also calls for eliminating numerous foreign aid grants that the US extends to other countries and replacing them with loans. "People like me come here to work hard", she said, "and now I'm not able to receive government benefits if the president stops everything and cuts it off".
[OMB director Mick] Mulvaney said that he brought Trump a list of entitlement programs and Trump said "I'm not going to touch Social Security, I'm not going to touch Medicare, that's what I promised". It's really out of control at the federal level, but what I am saying is, if they cut medicaid funding, then we have to cut at the state level because most of the funding comes from the feds, but I will do everything possible to keep medicaid coverage for the disabled, for single moms and for children.
Trump's plan promises that overhauling the tax code and easing regulations will lift economic growth from the lackluster 2.1 percent average rate of recent years to sustained annual gains of 3 percent or better. "Faster economic growth, coupled with fiscal restraint, will enable us to fully fund our national priorities, balance our budget, and start to pay down our national debt", the statement reads.