US President Trump budget to face skepticism, overwhelming politics
Washington DC: President Donald Trump is offering a USD 4.8 trillion election-year budget plan that recycles previously rejected cuts to domestic programs to promise a balanced budget in 15 years all while boosting the military and leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched.
Trump's fiscal 2021 plan, to be released Monday, promises the government's deficit will crest above USD 1 trillion only for the current budget year before steadily decreasing to more manageable levels.
The plan has virtually no chance, even before Trump's impeachment scorched Washington. Its cuts to food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid and student loans couldn't pass when Republicans controlled Congress, much less now with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., setting the agenda.
Pelosi said Sunday night that "once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families." "Year after year, President Trump's budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on," she said in a statement.
"Americans' quality, affordable health care will never be safe with President Trump." Trump's budget would also shred last year's hard-won budget deal between the White House and Pelosi by imposing an immediate 5 per cent cut to non-defense agency budgets passed by Congress.
Slashing cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and taking USD 700 billion out of Medicaid over a decade are also nonstarters on Capitol Hill, but both the White House and Democrats are hopeful of progress this spring on prescription drug prices.
The Trump budget is a blueprint written as if he could enact it without congressional approval. It relies on rosy economic projections of 2.8 per cent economic growth this year and 3 per cent over the long term in addition to fanciful claims of future cuts to domestic programs to show that it is possible to bend the deficit curve in the right direction.
That sleight of hand enables Trump to promise to whittle down a USD 1.08 budget deficit for the ongoing budget year and a USD 966 billion deficit gap in the 2021 fiscal year starting October 1 to USD 261 billion in 2030, according to summary tables obtained by reporter.
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