The details of President Donald Trump’s first major budget proposal have been slowly coming to light in a series of overnight reports by The Washington Post, Associated Press and Bloomberg News, and it looks about like you’d expect it to.
The official budget has not been published and submitted to Congress yet, so we’ll have to wait for all of the specifics, but most of the main points have come to light, including the fact that the budget is aiming to balance federal spending by 2028, mostly through steep cuts to non-discretionary spending in welfare programs amounting to $1.7 trillion over the next ten years.
Key aspects of the proposal to look out for:
Trump’s first budget proposal will slash $1.7 trillion in spending on entitlement programs, Bloomberg reports.
The new budget will massively slash federal spending to the tune of a $200 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the modern version of the food stamp program) over the next decade, amounting to a 25% reduction in food stamps for low income families, according to The Washington Post.
These food stamp budget cuts will be part of a broader $274 billion welfare-reform effort, reports The Associated Press.
The budget will also propose nearly $800 billion in spending cuts to Medicaid for fiscal year 2018.
Meanwhile the budget proposes an increased $2.6 billion in border security expenditures, $1.6 billion of which will go toward building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
This budget will propose major domestic discretionary spending cuts as well say reporters. One draft of the budget calls for $54 billion in these cuts over the next year.
The claim that this plan will balance the U.S. federal budget in ten years is a bit of a stretch as it assumes no recession happens in the next decade (a bold and not at all certain prediction) and economic growth accelerating to 3% a year (growth in the first quarter of 2017 was 0.7%, the slowest quarter the U.S. economy has had in three years.
Notably absent from the Trump Administration’s first budget proposal for FY2018 is major reductions to U.S. military spending, which accounts for the biggest piece of federal spending by far, and includes funding and armaments sent to countries with known ties to supporting terrorism, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (so how is it that this money is being spent to make us more safe instead of weapons manufacturers more rich?).
Neither are we hearing anything about any kind of substantial cuts to corporate welfare in the form of tax credits and subsidies that transfer money from workers to the bank accounts of corporations, and makes up a substantial portion of the federal spending behemoth.
Indeed if Donald Trump were truly interested in balancing the federal budget, instead of keeping milk and eggs out of the refrigerators of low income families, he would start with cutting welfare to corporations. And if he really cared about true capitalism and free markets, he would let the market decide how much to give to a corporation instead of appropriating it from workers’ paychecks to give to companies.