Published: Mon, May 29, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

President Trump's budget does not add up ($2 trillion math error)


As you might image, the Budget Committee's Democrats were scathing in their assessment of President Trump's first budget.

(Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP).

The proposed cuts to food stamp cuts would hurt millions who now depend on it and cuts to Medicaid could deny nursing home care to millions of elderly poor people.

The budget director pushed back on the criticism on Thursday. "We are not spending less money one year than we spent before".

Republicans, he said, care about the poor, kids and elderly.

The facts are that the proposed budget cuts Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program by $616 billion, food stamp program by $191 billion, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program by $22 billion and Social Security disability benefits by almost $70 billion -- all over the next decade.

The administration touted its projection that the budget would be on a path to balance within 10 years. While opponents argue whether the program's results are clear, the advocacy group Young Invicibles says such services would boost graduation rates. It's an obvious workaround for a president who pledged as a candidate not to cut the entitlement program. The sad reality is that this budget would accomplish no such thing, for several reasons.

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Under the president's proposed budget, Medicaid loses $610 billion over the next decade, which the administration suggests is on top of the $839 billion expected to be cut from Medicaid by the American Health Care Act.

Most economists and fiscal policy experts have called for lawmakers to slow growth in the country's debt, because if they don't the budget will soon become unsustainable as the population ages and health care costs rise. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts are among other agencies and programs that also would receive substantial cuts.

"Ordinary human beings" who can't get Medicaid under those constraints would feel that.

One of the best ways to evaluate government spending is as a proportion of the total economy, since that can help to account for changes in population, inflation and the budget priorities that define a presidency. But as a proportion of the economy, it would clearly be cut.

Trump's plan for the budget year beginning October 1 makes deep cuts in safety net programs, including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. That slight decrease adds up to more than $600 billion over 10 years.

"It's a taxpayer-1st budget", Mr. Mulvaney said. Mulvaney says that only in Washington if you spend $100, $102, or $104 dollars this year will Washington call that a cut.

Mr Trump's balanced-budget goal depends not only on 3 per cent growth projections - which most economists view as overly optimistic - but also a variety of accounting gimmicks, including an nearly $600bn (£463bn) peace dividend from winding down overseas military operations.

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