Mulvaney defends Trump budget's social safety net cuts

Bryan Strickland
Мая 27, 2017

Democratic Representative Salud Carbaja asked the budget director how a 30 per cent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, as Mr Trump suggests, would affect future generations.

Panel Democrats charged that Trump's cuts would rip apart the social safety net.

Trump wants lawmakers to cut at least $610 billion from Medicaid and more than $192 billion from food stamps over a decade. Then goodbye budget balance, even if the Rosy Scenario develops.

Medicaid spending would fall from 2 percent of the economy to 1.7 percent in 2027 due to the reductions in spending projections by Trump. The $9.2 billion cuts translates into a drop of 13.5 percent from the 2017 education budget by US Department of Education.

In addition, Paletta reports that the Trump budget documents may claim that tax cuts drive so much additional growth that they - plus the safety-net cuts - will restore federal budget balance a decade hence.

'It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the almost 40 years I have been tracking them, ' Summers wrote in the Washington Post. Trump's plan calls for an additional $25 billion in defense spending for next fiscal year, following a similar bump in the current budget.

At the same time, the blueprint boosts spending for the military by tens of billions and calls for $1.6 billion for a border wall with Mexico that Trump repeatedly promised voters the USA neighbor would finance.

Mnuchin had previously advised that the deadline to for Congress to act - and avert a first-ever default on USA obligations - was sometime in the fall. The announcement surprised oil markets and briefly pulled down US crude prices. Economists have doubts that either is possible, even if Trump's tax cuts are approved.

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But the effort has stalled as the White House grapples with the political fallout from allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

"You have to have compassion for folks who are receiving the federal funds, but also you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it", he told reporters. These cuts are largely concentrated in the area of non-defense general government - everything from labor to commerce to agriculture to environment to public lands and foreign service - and would reduce the role of the federal government nearly to a pre-World War II level.

Fortunately, presidential budgets are notoriously ephemeral, as illustrated by the fate of the "skinny budget", which was quickly dismissed on Capitol Hill.

Mulvaney's comments, which came during a House Budget Committee hearing, resurrected an issue that Congress has mostly ignored in recent months but will soon trigger tough political decisions. "This budget is not going to go anywhere".

BLACK: Do you consider entitlement reform an indispensable part of reaching that balanced budget, especially as we look at how we're only spending one-third of our total dollars on everyday spending, and the rest of it is over in that column with the debt and entitlements-Social Security, Medicare, and the other entitlement programs?

The White House proposed changes that would require more childless people receiving help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, to work.

The annual budget proposal the president sends to Congress is more of a message document than a working blueprint, and the message that the Trump administration sent with its priorities on May 23 is frighteningly clear. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are also testifying before House panels.

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