Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Donald Trump budget boosts military and border wall, targets social programs

U.S. President Donald Trump U.S. President Donald Trump
Priscilla Morrison | 12 March, 2019, 06:21

The Post notes, "The government now has more than $22 trillion in debt, and the deficit is projected to run between $900 billion and $1 trillion in the coming years".

Tax cuts have been a priority for the Republican White House and Congress in recent years, rather than deficit reduction.

Appropriators reached a deal a year ago whereby they paired a Pentagon spending bill with its counterpart for labor, health and human services, education, and related agencies - a possible way forward now, Thornberry said.

The Republican president's budget requested $20.8 billion for the USDA, a cut of $3.6 billion, or 15 percent, from the 2019 estimate, according to the proposed budget text. Perhaps stung by accusations of having abandoned his campaign promises on national debt, Trump has outlined significant cuts to federal spending outside of national-security areas. "Major sections of Wall are being built.", the President tweeted. Under the budget, both programs would be turned over to the states starting in 2021.

In states with large senior populations, such as Florida, political attacks over Medicare cuts have proved so effective that both parties have used them. Sen. Older Americans consistently vote at higher rates than younger Americans.

Over 10 years, Trump's budget would add more than $7.9 trillion to the national debt.

While announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, Trump said he would "save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts".

"President Trump has somehow managed to produce a budget request even more untethered from reality than his past two", said Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.

The spending plan calls for a cut of almost $1.5 trillion in Medicaid over 10 years and for $1.2 trillion to be added for a new "Market Based Health Care Grant" - that is, the block grants that would start in 2021.

"In order to preserve peace through strength, the Budget provides for increased end strength, bolsters our global force posture, and invests in the capabilities and domains critical to future conflicts, like space, artificial intelligence, and hypersonics", Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement Sunday night. That would be a dramatic sea change, after years where Congress treated defense spending and non-defense spending nearly equally.

An official 2020 White House budget won't appear until later this year. The first budgetary proposal Trump sent to Congress aimed to zero out the program in 2018.

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Democratic strategists and officials argued Monday that Trump's budget proposal exposed how little credibility Republicans have in debating health care, and showed signs of confidence that it would sharpen the contrast Democrats are seeking to make in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Leading Democrats immediately rejected the proposal.

Other initiatives the budget proposal touches upon include: school safety, expanding school choice accessibility and "promoting workforce development for the 21st century".

Here are some glaring gimmicks (and big debates) in the proposed budget. "We've been trying to have it since we got to office".

Democrats, responding to the funding demand reacted strongly.

Food stamps were at the heart of a bitter partisan debate previous year. Many Democrats are eager to continue putting health care at the forefront of the national conversation.

Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic adviser confirmed that a confrontation is likely as the "whole issue of the wall and border security is of paramount importance".

The increasingly ambitious cuts to Medicare in the White House budget reflect the administration's narrowing budget math, as the federal deficit has continued to balloon under its watch.

The Customs and Border Protection has not reported any formal commencement of wall construction. "This is unfortunate, not unexpected, and-most importantly-not going to deter us from doing what we need to do to ensure that every person in the region has access to clean, safe, and affordable water".

Last year's White House budget - an annual exercise that usually is more wish list than actual harbinger - also endorsed the Medicaid block grant idea, assuming it would be part of an ACA repeal. "The argument prior to this was the Democrats' plan versus the status quo".

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