Trump administration sending Congress $4.1 trillion budget

Worker chats with residents at a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Sunland Park U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez

Worker chats with residents at a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Sunland Park U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez

President Trump's first budget proposal to Congress includes $1.7 trillion in mandatory spending cuts over 10 years, including $800 billion from Medicaid and $193 billion from food stamps, in an effort to balance the federal budget. Higher growth means lower deficits and Trump's plan folds in more than $2 trillion in unspecified deficit savings over the coming decade from "economic feedback" to promise balance.

Likewise, the proposal for a $25 billion paid family-leave initiative, which many Republicans have opposed, could produce a bipartisan agreement if the administration is willing to make it more expansive.

Part of the ritual of the budget dance in Washington, of course, is the opposition party declaring the president's budget to be "DOA - dead on arrival".

Several elements are on the chopping block, including $272 billion worth of welfare programs such as food stamps and a curtailing of children's health insurance programs.

Trump's budget makes $616 billion in cuts to Medicaid over 10 years, in addition to the $880 billion in cuts already in the House's health care bill, by changing the program's funding formula and rolling back the expansions provided by Obamacare. He has left it to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a former Freedom Caucus member who came up with a scheme that bears no resemblance to the needs of the country or the politics of the moment. It would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid spending over the next decade.

President Donald Trump has sent Congress a $4.1 trillion spending plan that proposes to eliminate the deficit in a decade while protecting Social Security and Medicare. Trump actually increases spending in Medicare.

The Congressional Budget Office now estimates, however, growth at about 1.9 percent and the Federal Reserve projects the economy will expand at a 1.8 percent annual rate. The budget mentions the tax cuts, but doesn't include any of their costs.

Cuts to federal employee retirement programs and disability benefits: The budget will call for a $72 billion cut over 10 years to the Social Security Disability Insurance. The rest of the government bears the bulk of the reductions.

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"With this budget, the President betrays his promises to many voters who placed his trust in them".

Mark Sanford of SC questioned the rosy economic projections that allow the budget to balance over a decade even without touching Social Security or Medicare. And the budget would save $72 billion through cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance.

The proposal reflects a conservative vision of smaller government, a drastic rollback of programs for the poor and disabled to prod them into the workforce and a robust hike for the military and border security.

"We recently estimated that achieving sustained 3 per cent growth would either require productivity growth in excess of the country's 60-year record or else it would require productivity and capital growth and labour force participation to all reach or exceed the levels set in the booming 1990s", the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) said.

"That assumes a pessimism about America, about the economy, about the people, about its culture that we're simply refusing to accept", Mulvaney said. Instead, the US taxpayer will foot the bill. A CRFB analysis shows there are several key factors beyond "pessimism" that make it exceedingly hard for the U.S.to achieve three percent economic growth: an aging population and "a slowdown in the growth of labor, capital, and productivity". "It's not an economic security agenda", Schumer said. "It doesn't even sound that insane - it's really insane".

Top GOP leaders in Congress are praising President Donald Trump's budget plan for promising a balanced federal ledger over time.

"There's a certain message here and it's from the president of the U.S.to Congress that say, 'look here are my priorities in terms of what I want to spend more and here's the big ticket items, '" Mulvaney said.

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