The Contrarian

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Trump Wants To Slash $3.6 Trillion Of Spending

Yesterday, President Trump’s White House budget proposal was revealed, which included a big $3.6 Trillion (with a “T”) cut in government spending over 10 years. Whether or not this plan gets approved by lawmakers is another issue. Here’s a good summary of what the budget includes, as presented by Reuters newswire:

U.S. President Donald Trump wants lawmakers to cut $3.6 trillion in government spending over the next decade, taking aim in an austere budget unveiled on Tuesday at healthcare and food assistance programs for the poor while boosting the military.

Although it is not expected to survive on Capitol Hill, the proposal puts numbers on Trump’s vision of the role of government: a budget with radical cuts to government assistance to lower-income Americans.

The biggest savings would come from cuts to the Medicaid healthcare program for the poor made as part of a Republican healthcare bill passed by the House of Representatives.

Trump wants lawmakers to cut more than $800 billion from Medicaid, and more than $192 billion from food stamps over a decade. He seeks to balance the budget by the end of the decade, according to the plan.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan public policy organization, said the plan relied on “rosy assumptions,” gimmicks and unrealistic cuts.

The budget is based on forecasts for economic growth of 3 percent a year by the end of Trump’s first term – well beyond Congressional Budget Office assumptions of 1.9 percent growth.

Trump’s proposal foresees selling half of the U.S. emergency oil stockpile, created in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo caused fears of price spikes. The announcement surprised oil markets and briefly pulled down U.S. crude prices.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget office director, said the plan is the first one in a long time to pay attention to taxpayers.

“Yes, you have to have compassion for folks who are receiving the federal funds, but also you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it,” he told reporters.

Republican leaders in the House said lawmakers would be able to find common ground with the budget plan.

While the budget proposal for national defense increases spending, it falls short of campaign promises for a “historic” hike in military spending amid plans to rebuild the U.S. Navy.

Trump is seeking $52 billion more for the Pentagon as part of an overall defense spending increase of $54 billion. That is almost 10 percent higher than current budget caps but only 3 percent more than former President Barack Obama had sought in his long-term budget plan.

The president would reduce nearly a third of funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.

Trump upheld his promise – for the most part – that he would not cut Medicare and Social Security, two social insurance programs that deficit hawks have long targeted for reforms.

Those so-called entitlement programs may not come out of Capitol Hill unscathed, however. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a fellow Republican, said lawmakers would have to reform both programs to save them.

The White House proposed changes that would require more childless people receiving help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, to work.

Most government departments would see steep cuts, particularly the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

OUR VIEW: President Trump is now attacking some “holy cows” that other presidents didn’t have the courage to tackle, such as food stamps for able-bodied young people who go surfing instead of working. Cutting “foreign aid, global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement” is something hard working Americans, who have trouble paying their own bills, can support.

Isn’t it refreshing to have a president who cares for people who work or struggle with their small businesses, instead of just the rioters in the streets who don’t?

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