The good news for critics and concerned advocates in Idaho and elsewhere: The president’s budget, which proposes $1 trillion in cuts to social programs over the coming decade, got a frigid reception from Congress and will not be enacted as drafted. He says Congress may soon hear from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) about a change in the deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
Such cuts are being contemplated, of course, at a time when Trump is also promising huge reductions in taxes, mostly for upper-income individuals and corporations. However, that goal depends on growth projections that many private economists view as overly optimistic. Trump repeatedly promised voters during the campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, a notion that Mexican officials rejected. Cuts to a popular crop insurance program have already landed with a thud.
The proposal reflects a conservative vision of smaller government, a drastic rollback of programs for the poor and disabled to prod them into the workforce and a robust hike for the military and border security. Republican leaders insisted on food stamp cuts in the 2014 farm bill, and the House passed legislation that would have strengthened work requirements and cut 5 percent. “If you are on disability and you should not be, we need you to go back to work”.
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s plans to slash social programs are created to increase economic growth to 3 percent and put “taxpayers first”.
“Can we justify this to the folks who are actually paying for it?” The budget is counting on economic growth – and a lot of it – to overcome what otherwise would be a projected $1.3 trillion deficit in 2027 and instead achieve balance.
Though the budget does not touch the retirement portion of Social Security, it contains reforms and cuts to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which covers people unable to work.
The President wants legislators to cut at least $610bn (£471bn) from the Medicaid – a healthcare programme for the poor – and more than $192bn (£148bn) from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Snap), the modern version of food stamps – as well as several other initiatives.
The trillion-dollar-plus Department of Health and Human Services, whose programs cover more than 130 million people, did not hold its customary budget briefing on Tuesday.
Likewise, a 10-year, $191 billion reduction in food stamps – nearly 30 percent – far exceeds prior proposals by Capitol Hill Republicans. In Virginia, just over one million people are recipients of Medicaid.
Sanford told Mulvaney that the budget “assumes that the stars perfectly align” by promising an economic growth rate of 3 percent but that such an economic surge wouldn’t increase inflation and bond yields. “Three percent, in my opinion, is minimal”, he said on CNBC.
In his budget proposal, President Trump calls for reforming Medicaid and food stamps and cutting the burden they impose on hard-working self-sufficient taxpayers.
The State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency would each see their budgets cut by about a third, while defense spending would increase by more than $50 billion in 2018, or around 10 percent above 2017 levels. On Tuesday, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) criticized the budget’s impact on poor people, saying in a statement that “the proposed cuts to some federal programs are not mere shavings; they are rather deep and harmful to my district spanning Kentucky’s Appalachian region and other rural, impoverished parts of the country”.