Poor and disabled big losers in Trump budget; military wins
May 24 2017 by Cristina Jennings
The budget, Trump's first as president, combines his spending plan for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to balance government books after a decade, relying on aggressive cuts, a surge in economic growth - and a $2 trillion-plus accounting gimmick.
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. McConnell praised the budget for prioritizing defense, veterans' issues and economic growth. It would impose more stringent work requirements and limits on those receiving aid, including disability and food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Productivity gains have also been poor in recent years, limiting how much the economy can expand.
The budget proposes $193 billion over 10 years in cuts to food stamps, $143 billion in 10 years from student loan programs and at least $600 billion over the same time frame from Medicaid. It proposed to allocate more than $2.6 billion for border security, including $1.6 billion to begin work on a wall on the border with Mexico.
The President had previously requested $1.5 billion in 2017 wall funding.
Asked about Trump's campaign pledge to keep Social Security intact, Mulvaney argued that disability benefits are "not what most people consider to be Social Security", so the cuts are OK.
Trump's budget would increase spending on defense, infrastructure, paid leave, and a few other items.
Critics like to call the cuts "draconian" - one non-profit even said it was "taking us back to the Stone Age" - without acknowledging that they are a drop in a bucket compared to the overall growth in spending in the past decade.
"We will take a close look at his budget, but Congress is mandated by the Constitution with key spending responsibilities and will ultimately decide what the nation's fiscal priorities will be", Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, said.
"With this budget, the President betrays his promises to many voters who placed his trust in them".
But even taking all benefits from the poor and the working class wouldn't make a budget balance, particularly if Social Security and Medicare aren't chopped.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that the president is making good on his vow to save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, among other things, and said that they are not kicking anyone off who needs the programs.
The budget President Donald Trump is expected to release on May 23 will reportedly include hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid. Specifically, we're referring to its long-term economic assumptions.
"I've said it before, I say it again: If you are 30 years old you have never had a job as an adult in a healthy American economy". In 2015 the average income of farm households was $119,880, which was 51 percent higher than the $79,263 average of all US households.
It's a marked reversal from President Obama's budgets, where domestic priorities, including climate research, environmental protection and conservation programs, were favored over the Pentagon.
The administration's motive is to get as many people back into the workforce as possible in an effort to spur economic growth, said OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. But ultimately, it's Congress that controls the purse strings, and lawmakers will have to decide what sort of spending they're going to authorize.