President Donald Trump will release a budget plan Tuesday calling for $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade and a 10 percent increase in defense spending.
The budget plan presumes a 3 percent annual growth rate to the economy and, if its assumptions are correct, would balance the budget within the next decade.
Trump is proposing $3.6 trillion worth of cuts over the next decade – “the most proposed by any President in a budget,” according to summary sheets put out by the White House. The cuts would encompass both discretionary programs but also entitlement programs for low income Americans.
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The budget includes at least $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid – but that could be more, assuming that the House-passed health care bill goes into effect as passed. It would cut $190 billion from the food stamp programs, cutting $272 billion overall from anti-poverty programs over 10 years.
But it would also cut other agencies as well, including 31.4 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget over one year, 29.1 percent out of State and other foreign programs and 19.8 percent out of Labor’s budget from 2017 to fiscal year 2018.
The bill would also defund Planned Parenthood and virtually eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, said White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Defense would see an increase in spending
Trump’s budget plan would boost defense spending by 10 percent and begin to pay for the border wall that Trump made a centerpiece of his campaign, according to Mulvaney.
The budget includes $2.6 billion for border security, with $1.6 billion going toward the “brick and mortar” construction of the wall, Mulvaney said, and the balance going toward enhanced technology and other infrastructure measures aimed at reducing illegal immigration.
Mulvaney said the budget would boost programs encouraging school vouchers – which pay for public school students to go to private school – as well as a $25 billion program that would create nationwide child leave for mothers and fathers of newborn and adopted children.
The budget would also include $200 billion for infrastructure – another follow-up on a Trump promise.
In a briefing with reporters Monday, Mulvaney called the budget a “taxpayer-first budget,” that was “written through the perspective of people who pay taxes as much as the people who receive the benefit.”
He dismissed the notion that the budget would target the poor, saying many taxpayers would prefer to have their money go to pay for law enforcement or defend the nation rather than go for programs that have not been proven to work.
“People don’t mind paying taxes as long as they know their money is not being wasted,” he said. “And for too long the federal government has been unwilling to prove that’s the case.”
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“We are going to measure success by actually helping people,” he said, saying he considers that to mean “helping them get off programs and helping them get in charge of their own lives again.”
Mulvaney said that also meant requiring a Social Security number for the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit – a distinction which would effectively bar tax-paying undocumented immigrants from being able to use two tax credits that have been highly popular among the working poor. “How do you go to someone who has paid taxes and say, ‘hey, we want to give the Earned Income Tax to someone working here illegally,” Mulvaney said. “That’s not defensible.”
Will it get through Congress?
Members of Congress on both sides were skeptical Monday the budget plan would get through lawmakers.
“I do not believe the President’s proposed budget will be Congress’ starting point,” said Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington.
Democrats were critical of the proposals.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, said the budget would be cut “on the backs of working people.”
“Ohio families know that making a budget is about choosing priorities,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, “and so far Ohio families have not been this Administration’s priority.
The budget is expected to be released mid-morning today. Mulvaney will testify before the House Budget Committee Wednesday and the Senate Budget Committee Thursday.