Topping the Trump administration's budget priorities are defense and border security, according to the spending plan released Monday, and at the bottom of the list are social safety net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps.
The proposal, titled “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget,” sets forth President Trump’s priorities as Congress prepares to consider spending bills for the next fiscal year.
It would continue to markedly increase military spending and set aside money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The plan also calls for major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and other social programs, reductions that conservatives have long sought.
Even with those cuts, however, the Trump administration acknowledges it will run up the deficit, due primarily to the tax cuts passed last year. Prior to passing the tax plan, administration officials insisted it would pay for itself, but estimates this year stand in sharp contrast to last year's projections:
Monday’s budget proposal paints a much different picture of the tax plan’s eventual effect compared to what the Treasury Department and the White House had projected. It forecasts that tax revenue will plummet in the next few years and never recover to the levels forecast before the tax plan was enacted in December.
It projects that tax receipts will be $314 billion lower in 2018 than it forecast last year and almost $400 billion lower in 2019.
In looking toward cuts to social programs, the administration offered the following proposals:
- A $554 billion cut in Medicare spending over 10 years.
- It creates a “market-based health-care grant” to supplement Medicaid, reducing overall spending on the program by about $250 billion over 10 years.
- A $214 billion reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over 10 years.
The Post notes that Congress will likely balk at some of these cuts, but Republicans have long sought to enact "entitlement reform" and may take this opportunity to pare back social programs.