The poor, the elderly, the disabled, college students and environmental protections all stand to take a big hit if Congress approves President Donald Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2018.
Defense contractors, corporations in general and the wealthiest Americans all stand to gain.
The Trump administration’s budget proposal, released formally on Tuesday, assumes a balanced budget over the next decade and focuses most cuts on the so-called social safety net for the least-wealthy Americans.
"This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Monday.
Few people were predicting that the budget proposal would pass muster in Congress.
“The Medicaid cuts would gut health care for the poorest among us. It is a heartless and destructive budget approach that hurts America,” Joe Scarborough, a former Republican U.S. representative and host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, said on Twitter Inc TWTR on Tuesday.
A look at the winners and losers:
Medicaid: The budget would cut $800 billion to Medicaid over the next decade, moving beyond the House healthcare bill aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, "Obamacare," which let states expand Medicaid to provide health care to the poorest Americans. It would drop coverage to an estimated 11 million adults and reduce funding to Medicaid in general, which covers 70 million low-income children, adults, disabled people and the elderly.
Meals on Wheels: Funding for food aid to the elderly would be gutted, something even conservative lawmakers believe they will have a tough time selling to constituents back home. “Meals on Wheels, even for some of us who are considered fiscal hawks, may be a bridge too far,” Mark Meadows, R–North Carolina, told the New York Times.
Education: The president’s budget proposal calls for a $9.2 billion cut in education, about 13.5 percent. The cuts would slash $1 billion in interest on student loans, primarily affecting the poorest college students. It would simplify the student loan process and make Pell Grants for low-income students available year-round, instead of twice a year, but the net cuts would still increase student debt, education advocates say. Medicaid cuts would also hurt disabled students.
Food Stamps: Many details in the budget are still sketchy, but Trump has plans to slash up to 25 percent in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program during the next decade.
Social Security: While Trump has strongly opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, the budget proposal — considered a longshot to pass as is — would make cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance, which covered over 10 million recipients as of December 2015.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: The budget would cut the EPA funding by $2.6 billion dollars, a whopping 31.4 percent.
Defense: The Defense Department's budget will increase $574 billion and, Homeland Security got a $2.8 billion increase, and the Department of Veterans Affairs would receive a $4.6 billion increase under the president's plan.
The Border Wall: The budget proposed by the White House includes $1.6 billion for "bricks and mortar for a wall," Mulvaney told reporters on Monday.
The Wealthy: The top tax rates on businesses and individuals will drop. Likewise, the budget eliminates the surcharge for Obamacare on wealthy investors. Perhaps most significantly, eliminates the estate tax on estates worth over $5.5 million.
"The majority of the benefits go to high-income people," Joe Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, told CNNMoney.
Faith Leaders Begin Fast to Oppose Trump Budget Cuts _____ Image Credit: By Shealah Craighead - Photo of the Day: 5/17/17, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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