Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Guest Editorial…Trump budget cuts will hurt Americans

Alfredo Watts | 03 June, 2017, 00:22

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, while introducing the budget Tuesday: "There are no Medicaid cuts in the terms of what ordinary human beings would refer to as a cut".

We're not sure how anyone would not see this double-barreled assault as anything but a betrayal of Americans whose families have been devastated by addiction - and who trusted the president's repeated pledges to make them a priority. But he said that will work best if it is permanent, and he acknowledged that winning congressional approval for that large a tax reduction will be "tricky". It averaged 3.2 percent from 1970 to 2000, but only 1.8 percent annually since.

It would defund and cut at least 10 percent of key civil rights enforcement positions across the government, including positions at the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Legal Services Corporation, which helped more than 2 million low-income individuals with legal representation past year, advocates said. The Federal Reserve pegs "sustainable" growth at 1.8 percent.

"We looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills", said Mulvaney. The policies included in Trump's budget would increase the pace of growth in gross domestic product from just under 2 percent annually to 3 percent a year, the document projects. And slicing food stamps by $191 billion over 10 years (almost 30 percent) is equally unlikely.

The budget calls for a $200 billion public-private infrastructure plan with public facilities, including airports, sold to private investors. He noted that while taxpayers might face lower tax rates, that could be offset by the loss of deductions for state income, property and other taxes. Its feasibility is unclear. It does not include any new health-care spending.

For states that don't have the luxury of ignoring budget imbalances, the changes would increase pressure to either kick people off Medicaid, increase the state share of Medicaid funding, or cut payments to hospitals and other providers, Moody's says.

It is hard to find supporters of the free-spending side of the Trump persona even in the White House, unless you cling to the fantasy that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are closet liberals.

"It's a problem - it's a big problem", Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. "The cuts are draconian".

His cuts to environmental protection - on top of slashing regulations that give communities a fighting chance to protect their air, water and public health - amount to Hague Tribunal level of war criminality for what he will do to the planet, let alone our communities.

President Donald Trump may alienate some of his core supporters by cutting funding to Medicaid and the food stamps program, according to new analysis. The Trump administration's proposed budget, which it submitted to Congress in May, sends the alarming message that it can do without much of rural America. This is a budget that would cut out city leaders as decision-makers in any of these federal programs. Only in Washington, DC, could a budget increase of $146 billion dollars be considered a cut. Often, when Congress can't agree, a spending bill is carried over from one year to the next.

Trump would cut general science, space and technology spending by 14.7 percent, including 18.9 percent cut to general science and basic research.

"Reduction in (tax) rate and a simplicity of the code is something Arizona employers have long sought", said Garrick Taylor, spokesman for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. But you can also argue that anything like Twitter that provides an unfiltered window into the mind of a president deserves to be scrutinized as much as a staff-written speech read off a Teleprompter. How it would improve income disparity needs to be addressed. This immoral budget declares war on America's children, our most vulnerable group, and the foundation of our nation's current and future economic, military and leadership security.

The libertarian Cato Institute estimates the federal government spends between $680 billion and $800 billion on anti-poverty programs without getting its money's worth.