Trump has proposed a $4.8 trillion election-year budget that would slash major domestic and safety net programs, setting up a stark contrast with all the Democratic presidential primary candidates.
Trump’s draconian budget would cut Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and also wring savings from Medicare despite Trump’s repeated promises to safeguard Medicare and Social Security.
Trump also takes aim at domestic spending with cuts that are sure to be rejected by Congress, including slashing the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 26.5 percent over the next year and cutting the budget of the Health and Human Services department by 9 percent. HHS includes the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will see a budget cut even as the coronavirus spreads.
It would target the Education Department is for a nearly 8 percent cut, the Interior Department would be cut 13.4 percent, and the Housing and Urban Development Department would be cut 15.2 percent. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development would be cut by 22 percent.
Not all agencies would face cuts, though. Trump proposes to increase spending for the Department of Homeland Security (presumably for his wall) while keeping Pentagon spending mostly flat. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration budget would increase by 12 percent as Trump has said he wants the agency to prepare for space travel to Mars.
Even with all these draconian spending cuts, the budget would fail to eliminate the federal deficit over the next 10 years, missing a longtime GOP fiscal target. Instead, White House officials plan to say their budget proposal would maybe close the deficit by 2035. The caveat being it would only achieve this if the economy grows at an unprecedented, sustained 3 percent clip through 2025, levels that the bungling Trump administration has failed to achieve for even one year so far. The U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent in 2019, a very weak level of growth according to “2016” Trump
During Trump’s first year in office, his advisers bragged that their budget plan would eliminate the deficit by 2028.
This new trend shows what a dismal failure the Trump regime is in dealing with ballooning government debt, something GOP party leaders had made a top goal during the Obama administration. Trump’s first budget projected the deficit in 2021 would be $456 billion. Instead, it is projected to be more than double that amount.
Trump has shown little interest in dealing with the deficit and debt, though some GOP leaders falsely insist it remains a priority. The $4.8 trillion budget for 2021 would represent a $700 billion surge over levels from 2018.
As a presidential candidate, Trump said he would eliminate not just the annual federal deficit but all debt held by the United States after eight years in office. Trump’s new budget proposal expected to show how far he has moved away from some 2016 campaign promises
Trump’s budget aims to cut spending on safety-net programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, cutting food stamp spending by $181 billion over a decade. It proposes to squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare over a decade through so-called cost-saving proposals such as supposedly reforming medical liability and modifying payments to hospitals for uncompensated care.
The Trump budget cuts Medicaid spending by about $920 billion over 10 years, a change critics warn would lead to reductions in benefits and the number of people on the health care program. “This is a budget that would cause many millions of people to lose health care coverage. That is unambiguous,” said Aviva Aron-Dine, a former Obama official and vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Democrats such as Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said early reports indicate the budget includes “destructive changes … while extending [Trump’s] tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.”
The budget is expected to request $2 billion in homeland security spending for the southern border wall. The administration has siphoned billions more from the Pentagon budget ever since declaring a national emergency at the border following last winter’s government shutdown.
Note: The federal debt has already grown by about $3 trillion under Trump.
This is an edited story from the Washington Post