The Trump administration’s 2019 federal budget suggests how the White House would like to pay for those $1.5 trillion in tax cuts they gave to the wealthiest Americans last year: Slash entitlement spending to the bone.
Bloomberg News has obtained a summary of the proposed spending plan and reports:
“President Donald Trump will propose cutting entitlement programs by $1.7 trillion, including Medicare, in a fiscal 2019 budget that seeks billions of dollars to build a border wall, improve veterans’ health care, and combat opioid abuse.
“The entitlement cuts over a decade are included in a White House summary of the budget obtained by Bloomberg News. The document says that the budget will propose cutting spending on Medicare, the health program for the elderly and disabled, by $237 billion but doesn’t specify other mandatory programs that would face reductions, a category that also includes Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, and agricultural subsidies.”
The proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security are a direct contradiction of what Trump said during the 2016 campaign, when he repeatedly promised to bolster the programs.
However, the Trump plan does call for dramatic increases in military spending: Trump wants increase in defense spending to $716 billion annually and a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops. He will also request $18 billion to build his long-promised wall on the Mexican border.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended the huge cuts in entitlement spending:
“Just like every American family, the budget makes hard choices: fund what we must, cut where we can, and reduce what we borrow. It’s with respect for the hard work of the American people that we spend their tax dollars efficiently, effectively, and with accountability.”
The budget proposal, however, seems unlikely to be accepted or implemented by Congress, especially in an election year. Bloomberg notes:
“Lawmakers routinely ignore the spending requests required annually from the executive branch. And Congress passed its own spending bill on Friday, including a two-year budget deal, which the president signed into law.”
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