A $4.4 trillion budget plan was offered on Monday by the Trump administration, showing how the new spending deal and massive tax cuts would increase government debt.
President Donald Trump’s 2019 budget plan entails steep cuts to spending on social safety net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, while at the same time it includes an increase in military spending, Associated Press writes. However, these cuts are unlikely to balance the budget and eliminate the deficit, which is expected to rise to about $1trillion annually in the next two years.
“Does it balance? No, it doesn’t,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on Monday. “I probably could have made it balance, but you all would have rightly absolutely excoriated us for using funny numbers because it would have taken funny numbers do to it.”
Mulvaney blamed Congress, saying that lawmakers refused to cut spending. Such projections have put considerable pressure on Congress to try to reconcile President Trump’s call for even more spending on infrastructure and border security with long-held promises of eliminating the deficit over a decade.
Despite clear evidence that increased spending and tax cuts will only result in the deficit spiking, Trump and his administration refuse to cut back on spending.
Democrats took the opportunity to criticize Trump’s budget proposal. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said “While corporations reap billions in tax giveaways, older Americans now have to worry about the Trump administration cutting Medicare and Medicaid. It’s in his budget.” He added that the plan will not under any circumstance become law.
According to The Washington Post, the budget sends conflicting signals, proposing cuts in agencies’ budget it had previously proposed adding more money to and vice versa.
The budget also calls for $716 billion in defense spending in 2019, a major increase from 2017 levels, in an effort to retool the military to deter and even fight major powers such as Russia and China, if need be. It further seeks $13 billion over the next two years to combat opioid addiction and $18 billion for the construction of a wall along the Mexico border.
On the other hand, it proposes cuts in areas like health and welfare programs, such as a cut of $250 billion to Medicaid funding and billions from the crop insurance program that farmers use to protect themselves against loss.