With the Trump administration’s 2018 budget, “slash n’ burn” looks to be the phrase of the moment.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump unveiled his first budget proposal as president. While many expected there to be cuts to government programs in the budget – we have a Republican president in office after all – what people didn’t expect was the severity of the cuts that the Trump administration would propose. So what’s in the budget proposal? Let’s take a look with our 10-Point Expert!
Point 1: President Donald Trump’s budget is designed to balance the budget within 10 years, through deep cuts in government services and programs. The Trump administration’s singular purpose in their budget is to completely erase the budget’s deficit by 2027.
Point 2: For President Trump’s budget to achieve this goal of completely erasing the US deficit in 10 years, that would mean the largest cuts to social and safety net programs in decades. Specifically, the budget cuts would target programs that help the poorest of Americans (like Medicaid and food stamp programs).
Point 3: President Trump’s budget would specifically target programs like:
- Medicaid: a proposed $1.49 trillion (!!!) cut over 10 years, which would shrink government spending of Medicaid to around half (48%)
Food Stamp Programs: $191 billion cut in the programs over 10 years which nets to around a 25% decrease in services
Welfare: a cut of $21.6 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs over 10 years
Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit Programs: a $40.4 billion cut in these incentive programs
Point 4: There are also severe cuts in most federal agencies which includes the Environmental Protection Agencies (31.4% cut), State Department (29.1% cut), Labor (19.8% cut), and a host of other agencies as well. The cuts to these agencies will effect staff sizes and in some cases, the ability to regulate their respective industries.
Point 5: In President Trump’s budget, US foreign aid would also be cut by $19 billion making it a 32% decrease in government aid. This includes US funding for global health initiatives, particularly HIV/AIDS and malaria programs (which would be cut by $6.5 billion for 2018).
Point 6: Even though there are a lot of cuts to government agencies and services, President Trump’s budget does create an increase in spending for Defense (additional $25.4 billion a year), funding to build a border wall on the US/Mexico border ($2.6 billion), and Department of Veterans Affairs (an increase of 5.8%).
Point 7: Also, and this is deathly important, President Trump’s budget assumes that GDP growth will be 3% by 2020; giving them a $2 trillion in additional revenue. This math is questionable for a number of reasons. The current estimates by the Congressional Budget Office is projecting 1.9% growth for the foreseeable future. So for the Trump administration to assume a 3% increase in GDP within their budgetary estimates is sketchy odd.
Point 8: As expected, Democrats aren’t too fond of the Trump administration’s budget proposal. Considering almost every program they have either campaigned for or cared about is severely cut, there is no doubt many of the cuts in President Trump’s budget will get some hefty opposition.
Point 9: As for Republicans, the reception of the new budget proposal has been mixed. While deficit hawks have praised the Trump administration’s budget for finally dealing with the national debt (and a bigger part the deficit), however more moderate Republicans are concerned with some of the cuts that the budget has proposed in regards to foreign and diplomatic aid. Many within the GOP worry the cuts to global health and peace keeping could lessen the US’ use of “soft power” abroad.
Point 10: It’s best to look at President Trump’s budget as an opening serve toward negotiations, and not legislation that is meant to be enacted directly. This budget is meant to show the Trump administration’s stance when it comes to its fiscal goals. Will the Trump administration get all the cuts that he’s proposed in his budget? Of course not. But the severity in cuts to government services that the Trump administration proposes in its budget should is not normal, even though it’s coming from a Republican president.
(Photo Credit: PBS News Hour’s YouTube Channel, Google Images)