Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director, unveiled Trump’s ghastly 2018 budget proposal Monday afternoon in the White House briefing room, and one point of pride was that it proposed that the child-care tax credit and the earned-income tax credit – benefits for working families – be denied to illegal immigrants.
The cuts are part of a budget blueprint for the upcoming fiscal year that begins October 1. The change would prevent illegal immigrants from pocketing the refundable tax credits created to help poor families, saving $40 billion over 10 years.
The Medicaid cuts were part of a Republican healthcare bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in early May, which aims to gut the Obama administration’s 2010 law that expanded insurance coverage and the government-run Medicaid program.
Donald Trump hopes to balance the federal budget within ten years through massive reductions in spending for entitlement programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Congress, not the White House, writes the budget, or so the thinking goes.
Using as an example a program meant to help students get advanced degrees that he said has not lived up to expectations, Mulvaney said it – like others throughout government – was being eliminated, adding, “We can’t do that anymore”. The proposed plan would cap repayments at 12.5 percent and limit the repayment period to 15 years.
The White House budget would allocate $44.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, $2.6 billion of which would go toward border infrastructure and technology, including the border wall Trump repeatedly promised to build during the campaign.
More details about the budget’s impact on federal education spending will become available Tuesday.
“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,”Mulvaney told reporters Monday”.
Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which like Medicaid helps pay for the Connecticut’s Husky program, also would be cut by at least 20 percent for the next two fiscal years. Democrats refused to agree to any money for the wall or what they call Trump’s “deportation force”, although some money for technology, hiring and detentions was approved.
The budget proposes six weeks of paid family leave for new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, and suggests states establish their own parental leave policies “most appropriate for their workforce and economy”. Details are scant, but the administration views the effort as a way to boost the employment rates of adults now out of work or seeking work.
“It is not unprecedented, but is below the average since the founding of the country and since World War II”, Mulvaney said.
According to budget documents from the White House, the U.S. economy will reach 3% gross domestic product growth in calendar year 2021, and will then continue growing at that pace. Many of these programs, which are set to land on the chopping block on Tuesday, are popular with voters – especially independents and Democrats – and are relatively low-priced when compared to other government programs.
Instead, the Trump tax plan promises an overhaul that would cut tax rates but rely on erasing tax breaks and economic growth to end up as “revenue neutral”.
Some of those funds are being channeled into a new $500 million block grant program to states and territories to focus on “leading chronic disease challenges specific to each state”.
Including the benefit in the 2018 budget, which will be released on Tuesday, “prove [s] to folks that we can do things like that and we can still balance the budget if we prioritize our spending right”, Mulvaney said. The president is also requesting a $54 billion increase for the Department of Defense and other national defense programs.
A CNN analysis found that of the top 10 places with the largest percentage of residents who use SNAP, seven voted for Trump in the 2016 elections.
But as the Associated Press reports, a politically risky budget proposal like this one won’t travel far in Congress, even one dominated by the GOP.
The health care proposal has been criticized by some Republican politicians, including Gov. Rick Snyder, for cutting Medicaid funding.