Goldman: Trump Budget is 'Political Document' not 'Working Fiscal Proposal'
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 9:12
Idaho public schools would take a $16.1 million hit if the Trump budget passes, the center estimated.
In order to explain the content of the document, entitled "A New Foundation for American Greatness", Mulvaney underlined that compassion can not be measured 'by the money or the people in the programs of social assistance, but by the amount of people we get out of them'.
The plan, Trump's first as president, combines 4.1 trillion U.S. dollars (£3.2 trillion) for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to bring the budget back into balance in 10 years, relying on aggressive spending cuts, a surge in economic growth - and a two trillion U.S. dollars-plus accounting gimmick.
It's important to note that the budget proposal is largely a presidential wish list.
"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 of those programs", said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, describing massive safety-net program cuts that would not "help" people "get off" safety net programs so much as eject them violently and immediately, regardless of where they land.
A point of debate in the hearing was whether the country could reach Trump's desired 3 percent economic growth through the cuts he has offered.
The proposal got a chilly reception from congressional Republicans and Democrats, who insist they will have the final say as they struggle to complete a health care bill and rewrite the tax code. All federal programs should be continually evaluated for effectiveness and affordability, and that must include Social Security and Medicare, regardless of the politics.
Larry Kudlow, the veteran financial guru and former economist in the Reagan administration, said Trump's proposed 2018 budget will help to accelerate economic growth by 3.5 percent to 4 percent a year.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney didn't deny the math, saying it was done "on goal", during a press briefing Tuesday.
But then it also uses that very same $2 trillion to balance the budget. We don't really know.
That aspiration, however, has also been questioned, because despite the cuts to social, educational and scientific programs, among others, analysts think that the Government only claims vague savings and imprecise sources of income. That slight decrease adds up to more than $600 billion over 10 years. The austerity measures "are astonishing and frankly immoral", Congresswoman Pramilla Jayapal told Mr Mulvaney as he testified to the House Budget Committee on Wednesday.
Trump's budget also includes reductions in pension benefits for federal workers, in part by requiring employees to make higher contributions. In agriculture, it would limit subsidies to farmers, including for purchasing crop insurance, an idea already attacked by farm state lawmakers.
The entire plan is based on the notion that the country's economy will grow at an annual rate of at least 3 percent, almost twice as much as the 1.6-percent growth in 2016, a rate that has not been reported in almost 20 years, experts noted.
The budget, officially titled "A New Foundation for American Greatness", would offer states the choice to cap Medicaid funding through a per-capita spending allotment or a block grant for the entire program. "We are not spending less money one year than we spent before".
There's little sign lawmakers, who panned the March plan, will have a change of heart now, especially with Trump's administration in turmoil and his poll ratings at historic lows.