WASHINGTON – The poor and the disabled are big losers in President Donald Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget proposal, while the Pentagon is a big winner.
The president’s plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 was delivered to Congress on Tuesday. It calls for deep cuts in safety net programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The proposal also calls for big cuts in Social Security’s disability program.
According to the Associated Press, the proposed budget would slash Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by $616 billion over the next decade. It would also cut the food stamp program by $191 billion and would cut funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by $22 billion. And Trump’s budget calls for cutting Social Security disability benefits by nearly $70 billion over the next decade by encouraging and, in some cases, requiring people receiving the benefits to re-enter the workforce.
As far as regional impacts, Trump’s budget would eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program, saving $427 million next year.
The budget would also prohibit any funding for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, defense spending and border security would get significant boosts, with the proposal adding $469 billion to defense spending over the next decade, while also including $2.6 billion for border security technology, including money to design and build a wall along the southern border.
The budget plan also calls for an increase for the Veterans Administration, including $29 billion over the next decade for the Choice program. The program allows veterans to seek outside medical care from private doctors.
REACTION TO BUDGET PLAN
Some members of congress have already said the proposed spending plan is dead on arrival, because it is too austere for Democrats and most moderate Republicans.
During a conference call with media on Tuesday morning, Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) said he hadn’t yet thoroughly reviewed the budget proposal, so he wasn’t going to offer an evaluation. However, he did say that the budget was a good starting point for lawmakers in Washington to have the conversation about spending and how to prioritize what’s most important for the American people.
“I think this was a good start, in the sense of the president putting out in black and white what his vision is, and it allows us to engage in what I believe definitely needs to happen – we need to have a conversation about priorities in America,” Reed said. “The $21 trillion in national debt that is building each and every day is not sustainable. We have to get the spending under control. We need to grow this economy, because if you reduce the spending at the same time you grow, we can tackle this national debt crisis that is looming on the horizon.”
Reed wouldn’t specifically say if he supported the full cut for Medicaid and other safety net programs being proposed by the president, but did say it’s something Congress needs to look at.
“Do I believe we can do Medicaid in a more effecient, effective manner? Absolutely. So if that means we can do it more efficiently and save hard working taxpayer dollars, I think that is a step in the right direction when it comes to looking at the program, reviewing the program when it comes to Medicaid. And as to what numbers that could result in when it comes to a reduction in expenditures, we’ll let good policy drive those numbers,” Reed said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo also released a statement on the budget, saying it’s an egregious attack on the values and priorities that built this state and this nation. He said the radical conservative agenda in Washington is putting corporations before people and billionaires before vulnerable New Yorkers, and the consequences would be catastrophic.