Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Trump's budget means deep cuts for health care safety net

Trump's budget means deep cuts for health care safety net

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

Numerous programs for elimination provide direct services to rural areas where Trump is most popular. There are some practical suggestions but, as in the overall budget, smoke and mirrors hamper any real analysis. Another $2.6 billion has been earmarked for border security, including the planning, design, and construction of a wall along America's southern border. He promised not to cut Medicare, and initially, Medicaid as well. All three states voted overwhelmingly for Trump last November.

US Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, testifies at a House Budget Committee hearing on the FY2018 budget at the Capitol on May 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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. Ron Wyden of OR, ranking Democrat on the committee that oversees health care financing.

Democratic defenders of the program warned that would deny health care and nursing home care to millions of people. The proposal also includes big cuts in Social Security's disability program. "They're really deep, deep cuts", said Republican Representative Hal Rogers, whose eastern Kentucky district relies heavily on federal aid. "Even if the whole package probably isn't going to become a reality, it's still a sign that he won't stop Republicans enacting whatever rash part of their agenda they manage to legislate", Weissmann wrote.

"This budget starts by taking away health care, then food, then housing, then education, then job opportunities", Jayapal said.

The budget would reduce pension benefits for federal workers by $63 billion by eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for most and by requiring employees to make larger contributions.

Trump's budget would limit subsidies to farmers, including a cut in government help for purchasing popular crop insurance policies. The administration has once again backtracked to say it will close enough tax loopholes to pay for whatever tax cuts it needs to, but it hasn't named a single one it would, and would have to go after ones it's already said it wouldn't if it wanted to raise $4 trillion or $5 trillion. "Come on. That doesn't add up".

Reality check on Trump's economic growth forecasts
This allowed the government to pay certain students' federal loan interest while they were in school and then six months after. Congress ultimately controls the government purse strings and may reject some or numerous Trump administration's proposals.

Mulvaney's appearance was one of four slated on Wednesday as Trump cabinet officials fanned out on Capitol Hill to defend Trump's budget, which contains jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programs.

The Trump administration's budget plan for 2018 assumes that a mix of sharp spending and tax cuts can both shrink the deficit and fuel economic growth of 3 percent a year " a level it hasn't achieved in more than a dozen years.

"A New Foundation for American Greatness" was built on quicksand, and the president's defenders are happy to keep shoveling it. Dick Durbin of IL.

"Most of the (budget) cuts will focus on programs for low- income folks and public investments", said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which pushes for long-term fixes to Washington's debt problems.

During the campaign, Trump attacked the weak economic growth of the Barack Obama years, and pledged that his economic program would boost growth from the lackluster 2 percent rates seen since recovery began in mid-2009.

The budget proposes $3.6 trillion in cuts over the next decade, according to a copy of the plan available on the White House website.

"The rough rule of thumb is that the average 10-year yield should be sort of close to (gross domestic product) growth", which in the current budget would be 5 percent including an assumed inflation rate of around 2 percent, said Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist for Capital Economics.

Trump's balanced-budget goal depends not only on the growth projections but also a variety of accounting gimmicks, including an nearly $600 billion peace dividend from winding down overseas military operations and "double counting" $2.1 trillion in revenue from economic growth — using it to both pay for tax cuts and bring down the deficit.

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