Even Some Republicans Say Trump's Budget Is 'Draconian'
Proposed budget includes deep cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, and more
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2017 12:49 PM CDT
In this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO)...   (Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The $4.1 trillion budget sent to Congress Tuesday by President Trump claims it will erase the national deficit by 2027, the AP reports. It will do this by drastically cutting programs for the poor, including Medicaid and food stamps, as well as decreasing funding for medical research, highways, and more. Democrats are, not surprisingly, opposed to the budget, but even some Republicans are distancing themselves from it. "These cuts that are being proposed are draconian. They're not mere shavings, they're deep, deep cuts," says Republican Rep. Harold Rogers of Kentucky. Here's what else you need to know about Trump's proposed budget:

  • Analysis in the Washington Post states Trump's proposed budget takes from the poor to give to the rich—it includes massive tax cuts for wealthy Americans and a $1.4 trillion cut to Medicaid over the next decade—at a time when inequality in the US "is already at historically elevated levels."
  • But cuts alone aren't enough to balance the budget. FiveThirtyEight reports the other part of Trump's proposed budget is rosy economic projections "that have little basis in reality." The budget assumes economic growth of 3% per year by the year 2021; most economists think that won't happen, and some federal agencies are projecting growth that's less than 2%.
  • The BBC reminds readers that Trump's budget—which includes a 10% increase in military spending and $1.6 billion for a border wall—is unlikely to become a reality as it stands, same as all other presidential budgets. The Senate and House each pass their own version of the budget, then congressional committees hammer it all out.
  • But Slate argues that just because it's unlikely to pass as is, it doesn't make Trump's proposed budget any less dangerous, calling it a "permission slip" to Republicans in Congress to attack the safety net: "He's granting Paul Ryan permission to cut away. And that, ultimately, is what makes Trump's budget so frightening."
  • On the other hand, Peter Morici writes for MarketWatch that Trump's "mad-genius budget" is just what we need to "avert fiscal calamity and restore prosperity and hope for the nation's most struggling citizens." He claims too many people are abusing social services like unemployment.
  • Finally, New York points to what it characterizes as an "embarrassing mistake" in Trump's proposed budget: It assumes a $2 trillion increase in government revenue through economic growth. That growth isn't just far from guaranteed but a "double-counting error," as Trump has previously claimed it would also pay for his proposed "biggest tax cut" in history.

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