Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion budget cuts deeply into safety net programs, Medicaid

Donald Trump seeks to slash $5 trillion of spending in austere budget

"The focus is sustained 3 percent economic growth", said White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said during the unveiling of the president's budget.

Funding for Medicaid, the health care program for low-income and disabled Americans, would be cut by more than 800 billion USA dollar over 10 years, while the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides benefits to about 44 million people, would be cut by about 193 billion dollars, according to the budget.

Mr. Trump, however, also promised not to cut Medicaid on the campaign trail.

It's easy to see why President Donald Trump was 6,000 miles away when his first budget was unveiled today: It's politically perilous for his Republican Party and would be a policy disaster. Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a modern version of food stamps that provided benefits to 44 million people in 2016, would be cut 29 percent.

The budget also proposes other cuts, including a $72 billion cut to the Social Security disability insurance funding, a $5.8 billion cut over 10 years to the Children's Health Insurance Program and more cuts to Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to the elderly. "If you are on food stamps, we need you to go to work".

The president's proposed budget is merely a guide and lawmakers will be diligent in crafting a more balanced plan, he said.

In 2015, only 55 percent of Americans made enough money to pay direct federal income tax, meaning that Mulvaney pitched the Trump administration's budget as a benefit for a little over half of the nation.

-The Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay: Trump's budget would eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program, saving $427 million next year.

The savings would instead go toward increased Defense Department spending and avoid cuts to the main Social Security and Medicare programs.

But it also includes a host of controversial program cuts and cancellations that have already drawn harsh attacks from Democrats in Congress.

It promises a massive tax cut that wouldn't increase the federal deficit, another dubious pledge.

It would do so by either capping the amount that states receive for each Medicaid enrollee, or offering states a block of funding with more flexibility in how state officials provide health care to their beneficiaries.

In addition, the budget would make another Dollars 610 billion in cuts to Medicaid over 10 years by transitioning the program from a traditional entitlement to either a block grant program or a per-capita program that puts a ceiling on federal Medicaid funding to states. The program presently serves about 42 million people.

The first look at the plan came in a "skinny budget" released in March which received a tepid response from Congress.

The proposal, which promises to balance the budget in the next decade, includes deep spending cuts to several healthcare programs, including Medicaid.

But it could be the start of real bargaining that goes something like this: Trump doubles his offer (unlike Mulvaney, he doesn't care about budgetary red ink), uses some money from a tax on foreign income of US companies, gets Saudi Arabia and other countries to chip in for energy-related projects and some public-private deals.

Draconian cuts in domestic programs to fund big military-spending hikes would disproportionately hit the poor.

MULVANEY: What are those, by the way - national security, border security, law enforcement, veterans, school choice, paid parental leave?

"There are no Medicaid cuts in terms of what normal human beings would call cuts, we are not spending less money than we did the year before", Mulvaney said.

But Perry, who once called for the abolition of the department, has become an outspoken proponent of the department's importance, particularly the national labs.

"We've had a freeze, we've had a prairie fire, we've had another freeze, we've lost 40 percent of our wheat crop and you're telling me there's going to be large cuts to crop insurance?"



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