Few Americans support cuts to most government programs, including Medicaid

"It's not fair to the people that have been paying in for years", Trump said at a leadership summit in New Hampshire.

Apparently, the budget forecasts that US economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration's policies - largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies.

Still, the president and most Republicans in Congress share the core principles behind Trump's proposals. "Though the administration has said state agencies should take more of the lead in enforcing environmental laws, the budget also reduces grants that help states pay for those programs by more than half", the AP reported.

But while the arithmetic underpinning the budget plan stole most of the headlines this week, the details of the budget proposal reveals the true politics of an administration willing to take measures that will have a detrimental impact on the very low-income Americans who helped propel Trump to the White House.

It's important to note that the budget proposal is largely a presidential wish list.

According to budget tables released by the administration, Trump's plan cuts nearly $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs, domestic agencies and war spending over the coming decade - an nearly 8 percent cut - including repealing and replacing Obama's health law, cutting Medicaid, eliminating student loan subsidies, sharply slashing food stamps, and cutting $95 billion in highway formula funding for the states. It makes significant cuts to the Children's Health Insurance Program. And polling indicates that such programs are overwhelmingly popular with American voters - a big reason for congressional Republicans not to agree with cuts.

Democratic defenders of the program warned that would deny health care and nursing home care to millions of people.

The discrepancy has been assailed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, but Mulvaney said Wednesday it was intentional. When confronted about this during a press conference on Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney argued that the administration "did [the double count] on objective... If you are on disability and you should not be, we need you to go back to work". The new program has been championed by Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney has said that plans to slash social programmes are created to increase economic growth to 3% and put "taxpayers first".

Reports ahead of the budget's release on Tuesday indicated that the budget would align with cuts to Medicaid proposed in the AHCA, which would ax more than $800 billion from the program. Kentucky, a conservative state that signed on to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, would also be hit hard, with assistance dropping by 9.7 percent. That slight decrease adds up to more than 600 billion U.S. dollars over 10 years. In agriculture, it would limit subsidies to farmers, including for purchasing crop insurance, an idea already attacked by farm state lawmakers.

Mulvaney told the committee that the FY 2018 budget seeks to eliminate the federal deficit within in the next decade and also strives to grow the economy at an annual rate of three percent. That's about a 25 percent cut.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said as much when presenting the administration's budget plan this week to cut safety net programs by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years.

Many rank-and-file Republicans recoiled from the cuts, however, which would squeeze foreign aid and domestic programs funded annually by Congress by about 10 percent next year and $1.4 trillion over the coming decade.

  • Zachary Reyes