Colorado governor responds to President's budget proposal

Jane Richards
May 24, 2017

The government hasn't run a surplus since the late 1990s when a budget deal between Democrat Bill Clinton and congressional Republicans combined with the longest us economic recovery in history produced four years of black ink from 1998 to 2001.

Medicaid cuts: Trump's budget, operating on the assumption that the Republican health care bill would officially pass, proposed slashing funding for Medicaid by 47 percent.

Trump's budget summary includes a $610 billion Medicaid reduction over a decade, but as CNN pointed out, it's unclear how that ties into the budget's assumption that the American Health Care Act becomes law, carrying with it an $800 billion cut to Medicaid, a program that provides health coverage for low-income Americans.

The budget would reduce pension benefits for federal workers by $63 billion by eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for most and by requiring employees to make larger contributions. It is a political wish list that slashes US$3.6 trillion over 10 years as the administration aims to balance the budget. Trump's budget would cut $200 million from the program, which provides food for pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to age five.

There is some new spending in Mr Trump's plan for fiscal year 2018, which starts in October.

The 62-page blueprint from the White House says that the latest budget would invest $2.6 billion in border security, which would include funding "to plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border" though it didn't specify exactly how much. The announcement surprised oil markets and briefly pulled down US crude prices. It would create three tax brackets - 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent - instead of the current seven.

But the effort has stalled as the White House grapples with the political fallout from allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election. "It's not right when you look at it through the perspective of the people who pay taxes", he said.

Republican leaders in the House said lawmakers would be able to find common ground with the budget plan. It's a marked reversal from President Obama's budgets, where domestic priorities, including climate research, environmental protection and conservation programs, were favored over the Pentagon.

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"This budget exposes all of that verbiage for what it really was: just cheap and dishonest campaign rhetoric that was meant to get votes", Sanders told a news conference.

The proposal could run into trouble in Congress, where some GOP lawmakers have balked at smaller cuts to the program. Critics who dispute the possibility of that, he said, are wrongheaded.

Even so, Trump's overall spending plan appeared to fall far short of his campaign pledge to fund a "historic" rebuilding of the military.

The president would reduce almost a third of funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.

Trump's budget would cut Medicaid by a lot, despite the president telling the Daily Signal days before launching his White House bid, "I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid".

Those so-called entitlement programs may not come out of Capitol Hill unscathed, however.

Federal spending on SNAP - formerly know as food stamps - would decrease by $191 billion over 10 years, a decrease of about 29 percent.

The proposal, released by the White House on May 23, must still be approved by Congress, which has already signaled deep reservations about numerous proposed cuts, and how new spending increases will be paid for. And I want to say on a couple of different occasions, their assumed growth rate was more than 4.5 percent.

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