November 19 2017

Trump's budget director defends plans to cut social programs

November 19 2017, 06:48 | Clarence Walton

Purdue defends budget's food stamp cuts to angry Democrats

Copies of President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 federal budget are laid out ready for distribution on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday

Medicaid is facing even bigger cuts.

In testimony to the House Budget Committee, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney called President Donald Trump's new budget - called the "New Foundation for American Greatness" - a budget written "from the perspective of the people who actually pay for the government".

Trump's budget was unveiled while he was out of the U.S.

. He says the budget is aimed at restoring confidence in other taxpayers. (The budget is so shoddily produced that budget experts and the administration have failed to agree on the actual amount of the proposed cuts.) This could be devastating for all 50 states.

"These cuts would be devastating if they take effect", Democratic Sen.

"I would think that the health care bill is our best policy statement on Medicaid going forward", said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the program.

On Capitol Hill, Trump's budget won polite praise from some Republicans, but Democrats were dismissive.

Mulvaney was responding to the deluge of criticism that followed the rollout of President Donald Trump's first full budget proposal earlier this week, even though it faces certain changes in Congress. That robust rate would balance the budget over the next 10 years, a strategy that some in Congress have questioned. Instead, the USA taxpayer will foot the bill. Trump's own base of political support also could be undermined.

Medicaid, the federal/state health insurance program for the poor and disabled, would be cut by more than $600 billion over the next decade.

"I don't know that your priorities are much different from my priorities for USDA", he told Aderholt.

Atop Rogers' list of worries is Trump's proposed elimination of the $146 million Appalachian Regional Commission that has helped bring projects such as job training to unemployed coal miners, a broadband technology center to Kentucky and high-tech medical equipment to impoverished regions.

Likewise, a 10-year, $191 billion reduction in food stamps " nearly 30 percent " far exceeds prior proposals by Capitol Hill Republicans. By cutting Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance, and slashing food stamps, disability insurance, school lunches, Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity-Trump eviscerates effective and proven programs that help working poor, middle-class families and seniors.

Similarly, in the mid-1990s, some in the GOP pushed for a major food stamp overhaul as part of welfare reform, and some work requirements were added. He was victorious in 991 of the 1,093 counties studied by the U.S. Census Bureau where the percentage of white households receiving food stamps exceeds the national average. Three in four Democrats trust congressional Democrats to handle the economy compared to 84 percent of Republicans who said they have faith in their party. On average, the federal government reimburses states $1.33 for every dollar they spend on the program.

Liberal California would be hit hardest, with a 9.8 percent drop. Farm state lawmakers are already pushing back on proposals to curb agriculture assistance, for instance, and key Republicans are not interested in adding another round of cuts to Medicaid on top of those contained in the ongoing "Obamacare" repeal and replace effort.

There are cuts that will impact South Dakotans, if Trump's budget is approved by Congress. But the official figures (PDF) put forth by the Office of Management and Budget call for an additional $610 billion in cuts over the course of 10 years as a result of limits to Medicaid funding.

States now administer SNAP with federal money, but would have to come up with an average of 10 percent of the cost by 2020 and 25 percent by 2023.

Apparently, the budget forecasts that US economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration's policies - largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies.

Trump's budget is simply a proposal.

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