Trump 2020 budget proposal: His GDP growth forecasts appear way too rosy

Henrietta Strickland
March 12, 2019

The increasingly ambitious cuts to Medicare in the White House budget reflect the administration's narrowing budget math, as the federal deficit has continued to balloon under its watch. It proposes $2.7 trillion in budget cuts over the next 10 years, which is still not enough to close the Trump-sized hole the tax cuts have created.

With Democrats gaining a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives in last fall's election, resistance to the administration's latest proposed reduction is likely to be even stiffer as the budget is debated on Capitol Hill in the coming months. Trump proposed giving huge increases to the military while enacting historic cuts to non-military agencies.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans "are highly motivated" to reach another two-year budget deal and "the chances are good there will be another negotiated budget outcome", said Thornberry of Texas. "That this request also includes thoughtless across-the-board cuts to almost all nondefense spending further reveals that this is in no way a moral budget that prioritizes meaningful investments in community stability or vibrancy", Defund Hate Coalition said.

"We need to continue to secure the country", Vought told reporters at the White House.

The proposal will also include $1bn for a childcare fund that would seek to improve access to care for underserved populations, a White House official said. The proposed budget includes several legislative proposals and administrative actions to reduce monetary loss from improper payments, including an increase in Medicare Advantage (MA) payment audits.

Trump is also seeking a 5 percent cut in domestic spending, following through on a pledge at a Cabinet meeting last fall to "get rid of the fat, get rid of the waste" with a uniform spending cut. "It's only now in our third budget that they are willing to have a conversation about the national debt". As Foreign Policy reported on Sunday, Trump's request for $750 billion in military spending exceeds the hike expected by Defense Department officials, who were planning for a $733 billion budget. About $718 billion would go to the Defense Department. You'll get alerts delivered directly to your inbox each time something noteworthy happens in the Military community.

For the fiscal year that begins October 1, Trump would increase defense spending by about 5 percent to $750 billion, despite a spending cap imposed by a deficit reduction law that requires cuts.

The funding will come from two sources.

Now White House is asking for $5 billion from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and another $3.6 billion in military construction funds from the Pentagon. But instead, the deficit has ballooned on his watch as a result of increased spending and the GOP tax cut.

Vought said that the administration is "totally ready and willing to talk with Congress" about how to put forward an additional $200 billion in new infrastructure investment.

Appropriators reached a deal previous year whereby they paired a Pentagon spending bill with its counterpart for labor, health and human services, education, and related agencies - a possible way forward now, Thornberry said. But the administration is working to impose the requirements on its own.

Another key initiative will be measures to lower drug costs.

The request would support implementation of a law Trump signed a year ago to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the troubled VA system, a major shift aimed at reducing wait times and improving care by steering more patients to the private sector.

"My 2020 Budget builds on the tremendous progress we have made and provides a clear roadmap for the Congress to bring Federal spending and debt under control".

Another area that needs fixing is the State Department's cultural and exchange programs, which spend $600 million, Vought said.

The budget request made public Monday by the White House must be taken by the global working class as a serious warning.

The lackadaisical pace following Trump's February 15 declaration is proof that this is not an actual emergency, never mind the number of years it will take to build a wall once the funding source is identified, said Elizabeth Goitein, an expert on national emergency declarations at the Brennen Center for Justice.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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