Trump budget slashes $4.4T in spending, hits foreign aid and social safety nets, boosts wall, NASA & vets
February 10, 2020 | Victor Rantala
On Sunday, the White House revealed a $4.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2021 that cuts foreign aid by 21% and reduces certain social safety net programs. It also allocates $2 billion for the southern border wall and increases funding for NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security (DHS).
Details of the package, which reflect President Trump’s policy priorities heading into the 2020 elections, are to be formally announced on Monday.
Longer range, the plan is a start toward eliminating the federal deficit by 2035, according to Fox News. The deficit this year is expected by the Congressional Budget Office to exceed $1 trillion this year. The White House plan is to cut $4.4 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years.
Some of that reduction in spending is calculated to come out of food stamp expenditures and spending on federal disability benefits that will result from more stringent work and eligibility requirements.
Reducing foreign aid is a big priority and an opportunity for huge taxpayer savings–a popular cause among the Trump base, and in keeping with the president’s efforts to get other nations to “pay their fair share” for their own defense. Last year’s White House budget proposal also sought to slash those costs, but Congressional resistance prevailed.
The new budget proposal raises military spending by 0.3%, with increases for veterans and for defense programs, to include a greater focus on artificial intelligence. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s would jump by 19 percent. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ would increase by 13 percent.
Homeland Security’s budget would increase by 3 percent.
According to Reuters, the 2021 budget proposal seeks spending reductions of “$130 billion from changes to prescription-drug pricing for the Medicare program for older Americans, $292 billion from cuts in safety-net programs – such as work requirements for the Medicaid program for the poor, and food stamps – and $70 billion from clamping down on eligibility rules for federal disability benefits.”
In last week’s State of the Union address, President Trump challenged lawmakers to cooperate in reducing prescription drug prices. “Working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels,” he said. “I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces a 26% reduction in funding after the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era EPA regulations and oversight, pointing out they hurt the economy while providing little benefit.
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