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US Presidents propose budgets. Congress has appropriation authority.
Trump’s FY 2019 budget is all about benefiting Wall Street, the Pentagon, war-profiteers and other corporate predators at the expense of social justice.
It’s part of his scheme to help pay for the great GOP tax cut heist – outrageously calling for $1.7 trillion in social program cuts over the next decade.
It largely resembles his FY 2018 budget – similar to Speaker Paul Ryan’s draconian proposal when he chaired the House Budget Committee – a plan to destroy social America.
Trump’s new budget unrealistically projects future economic growth at 3% annually – at a time when it’s 2% or less and a severe recession is long overdue.
A statement from Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente said the following:
“Donald Trump has proposed a federal budget that steals from working families to pay for his massive $1.5 trillion tax cut that largely benefits the wealthy and big corporations.”
“He’s taking away health care from seniors, food from families, college loans for the next generation, and support for people with disabilities to benefit the fortunate few.”
“Congress should reject the Trump budget and create a tax system that makes the rich and corporations pay their fair share so we can invest in all Americans, not take from them.”
President of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Maya MacGuineas slammed Trump’s proposed budget, saying:
It “has too many gimmicks, exaggerated savings, and rosy assumptions. Most troubling, it doesn’t make the credible hard choices necessary to help bring the debt back to more manageable levels.”
It slashes “non-defense discretionary spending by (over) 40 percent” – vital social programs affected including:
- over $500 billion in Medicare cuts, more than $300 billion slashed from Medicaid;
- food stamps cut by over $200 billion;
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) loses $21 billion, $72 billion less for disability programs;
- elimination of block grants to help pay for child care and foster care;
- the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get around $600 less; plus
- cuts to scientific research, Head Start (early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families), the State and Labor Departments, Army Corps of Engineers, housing assistance, and help for debt-entrapped students.
Military spending is increased by nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years. Trump’s infrastructure proposal calls for spending $1.5 trillion over the next decade, 80% from private investment, along with from state and city budgets.
David Stockman believes his agenda will add trillions of dollars in federal debt, rising to around $35 trillion by 2028 – $15 trillion above the current level.
His budget proposal needs a simple House majority and 60-vote Senate majority – the former unlikely in an election year; the latter virtually unattainable.
House Republicans fear losing their majority in November midterm elections, vulnerable incumbents unlikely to support budget cuts harming their base.
Axios editor Nick Johnston called Trump’s budget and infrastructure proposals “science fiction.” An unnamed White House source said they’re about pumping up Trump’s base on taxes and the economy.
Congress failed to pass the FY 2018 budget last year, relying on continuing resolutions to keep government operating.
The same pattern is likely to repeat this year – at least through this November’s midterm elections.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”