White House Budget: Increase Defense Spending, Cuts in Safety

The proposed White House budget faces a long uphill battle in Congress.

budgetThe White House budget proposal, released earlier this week includes major cuts in social programs while increasing spending in others. It also includes a $1.5 trillion proposal to address the nation’s failing infrastructure. However, top analysts are calling the proposal irresponsible, and many believe the disregard for the national debt and increasing deficit is irresponsible.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the proposed budget will not eliminate the federal deficit after 10 years. Perhaps, the $1.5 trillion tax cut and large spending increases are placing a bigger burden on government debt.

Despite several claims to not cut social security and Medicare during his campaign, President Trump’s budget plan contains at least $1.8 trillion in cuts to federal entitlement programs like food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs. The same cuts Republicans have sought for years.

The reductions add up to more than  $3 trillion over the next ten years, however, the proposal falls short and would not balance the budget. Another promise by the President during his campaign. A part of the challenge stems from the recent passing of the largest tax overhaul in over thirty years.

The White House predicts a huge gap between tax revenue and government spending which will add at least $7 trillion to the debt. The plan would add a combined $2 trillion in debt in 2019 to 2020. Some believe, however, the plan will not pass as it is written.

Congressional reaction to the proposed White House budget is mixed. Mark Meadows, the Republican chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said, “Certainly, I applaud the president’s willingness to address our military, veterans and many suffering from the opioid abuse epidemic. I a not investing much time critiquing the budget when it has little to do with what Congress actually spends.”

Hostile describes reaction from the left. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), said: “These cuts to critical federal investments are so extreme they can only reflect a disdain for working families and a total lack of vision for a stronger society.”

The proposal to cut funding for the low-income food stamp program known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by 30 percent over the next ten years is just the start. The plan also imposes work requirements for anyone able to work and will replace a portion of the recipient’s benefit amount with a premade box of American grown foods sent to the home.

In a report by the New York Times, individuals and families receiving housing assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will also face minimum work requirements. The goal is to cut costs.

The centerpiece of the proposed budget involves rebuilding America’s decaying infrastructure. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said if enacted, the 2019 plan “would reverse trends the Trump administration inherited, like a crumbling infrastructure, growing deficits, rogue nations and irresponsible Washington spending.” He also believes it will “ensure greater prosperity for the hard-working American taxpayer.”

The end of the crisis to crisis budgeting is not guaranteed, according to a report by Roll Call. The fact that a handful of Democrats must vote with Republicans to pass any spending bill, threats to government shutdowns will yet remain a strong possibility. The biggest reason is that Republicans have a history of adding provisions to spending bills that would negate programs important to Democrats.

By Jireh Gibson


The Roll Call: ‘Crisis Budgeting’ Likely Ahead Despite White House Claim
The New York Times: White House Proposes $4.4 Trillion Budget That Adds $7 Trillion to Deficits
The Washington Post: White House budget proposes increase to defense spending and cuts to safety net, but federal deficit would remain

Featured Image by Reese Brown Courtesy of Department of Defense’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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