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President Trump’s “Fat” Budget Proposal Arrives

Tuesday May 23rd, 2017   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 5:43am PDT   •  

It’s here! After months of anticipation following March release of President Trump’s “skinny” budget proposal (cover pictured on the right), the president’s “fat” budget proposal is being released today.

Bloomberg summarizes the main features that define President Trump’s first full budget proposal.

President Donald Trump would dramatically reduce the U.S. government’s role in society with $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years in a budget plan that shrinks the safety net for the poor, recent college graduates and farmers.

Trump’s proposal, to be released Tuesday, claims to balance the budget within a decade. But it relies on a tax plan for which the administration has provided precious little detail, the elimination of programs backed by many Republican lawmakers, and heavy use of accounting gimmicks.

Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal has already been declared dead on arrival by many of his Republican allies in Congress. The plan would slash Medicaid payments, increase monthly student loan payments and cut food stamps and agricultural subsidies, each backed by powerful constituencies. The administration is unbowed.

“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said. “We’re going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off those programs and back in charge of their own lives.”

In the days ahead, we’ll be digging deeper into the main elements of President Trump’s budget proposal for the U.S. government’s 2018 fiscal year, particularly in spending its proposal for Medicaid, which in recent years has been the fastest growing portion of mandatory entitlement spending while also being perhaps the “civilized world’s worst health insurance program.”

By focusing on restraining only the growth of the Medicaid welfare spending program, President Trump is missing an opportunity to put Medicare and Social Security, the U.S. government’s other two big mandatory spending programs—not to mention the entire U.S. government—on a more stable fiscal footing. Leaving those two entitlement programs untouched does, however, satisfy the president’s campaign pledges, so this neglect is not surprising.

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May 2017