Trump's budget boosts military spending, slashes programs for the poor

Trump's budget boosts military spending, slashes programs for the poor

Trump's budget boosts military spending, slashes programs for the poor

US President Donald Trump's first budget includes draconian cuts of $3.6 trillion over 10 years in social assistance and medical coverage programs for lower-income citizens, moves aimed at eliminating the deficit.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner issued a statement saying he will "strongly oppose" the administration's approach, and he views the proposed cuts as harmful to working-class families. Trump's budget would reduce funding for educational and cultural exchanges by 52 percent, including a 47 percent cut to the Fulbright Program, which enables USA citizens to go overseas and brings foreign students to study in the United States.

The president's plan recommends $616bn in cuts to Medicaid, the government insurance programme for the poorest and many disabled Americans, while increasing border security spending by $2.6bn - including $1.6bn to begin construction on a wall along the US-Mexico border. Instead, the USA taxpayer will foot the bill. The announcement surprised oil markets and briefly pulled down United States crude prices. It cuts the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.

But the effort has stalled as the White House grapples with the political fallout from allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election. "Instead of keeping his promises, this budget is further evidence that President Trump has fully embraced the agenda of far right congressional Republicans, which prioritizes tax cuts for those at the very top above all else".

The proposed budget also includes cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, by more than $600 billion over 10 years.

"You have to have compassion for folks receiving federal funds, but you also need compassion for folks paying it", White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said at a White House briefing with reporters.

The proposal, released by the White House on May 23, must still be approved by Congress, which has already signaled deep reservations about numerous proposed cuts, and how new spending increases will be paid for.

Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for low-income people, and the Children's Health Insurance Program would face $616 billion in cuts over the next decade.

He calls estimates below 1.9 percent annual growth "a pessimistic look at what the potential for this country and for what this country's people is".

Hastedt points out that ME already has the third worst rate of hunger in the nation, and she says that would become worse under this budget.

Defense: $469 billion is proposed for defense discretionary spending, which the administration says is $54 billion above the cap in current law.

Trump would keep campaign pledges to leave core Medicare and Social Security benefits for the elderly alone.

Those so-called entitlement programmes may not come out of Capitol Hill unscathed, however.

Two Republican aides in Congress said the modest request is an acknowledgement from the White House that full funding is not realistic given opposition from Freedom Caucus conservatives in the House of Representatives as well as Democrats in the House and the Senate.

The changes in the bill will have profound effects in states that expanded Medicaid, which tend to vote Democratic.

In an internal memo on the budget obtained by Politico, as a talking point on welfare reform, officials wrote that the budget "strives to replace dependency with the dignity of work through welfare reform efforts", such as the $21 billion cut to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program over 10 years.

"The CBC budget works to strengthen our economy by making meaningful investments in education, transportation and infrastructure, the environment, scientific research, and maintains a strong social safety net that protects our most vulnerable", Scott said.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan policy organization, said the plan relied on gimmicks, unrealistic cuts and "rosy assumptions" of economic growth that would reach 3 percent annually by the end of Trump's first term.

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