Media Moves

2020 budget planned at $4.8 trillion

February 10, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

President Trump is proposing a 2020 budget of $4.8 trillion, including higher defense spending and no change in social security and Medicare benefits.

Andrew Taylor reported the news for the AP:

President Donald Trump is offering a $4.8 trillion election-year budget plan that recycles previously rejected cuts to domestic programs to promise a balanced budget in 15 years — all while boosting the military and leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched.

Trump’s fiscal 2021 plan, to be released Monday, promises the government’s deficit will crest above $1 trillion only for the current budget year before steadily decreasing to more manageable levels.

The plan has virtually no chance, even before Trump’s impeachment scorched Washington. Its cuts to food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid and student loans couldn’t pass when Republicans controlled Congress, much less now with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., setting the agenda.

Pelosi said Sunday night that “once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families.”

“Year after year, President Trump’s budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on,” she said in a statement. “Americans’ quality, affordable health care will never be safe with President Trump.”

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc wrote:

News of the proposed budget comes after the US budget deficit ballooned past $1 trillion in 2019, marking the first time the country has crossed that threshold in a calendar year since 2012.

And the deficit has continued to grow due in part to tax cuts and a two-year budget deal that has boosted federal spending under Trump. It’s swelled to $984 billion at the end of the last fiscal year, up from $665 billion during his first year in office in 2017. Usually, big budget deficits typically widen during economic downturns — but the US economy is expanding and unemployment is at a 50-year low.

The budget proposal, which is expected to be released publicly on Monday, will request $2 billion in homeland security funds for the US southern border wall — billions less than Congress had previously agreed to. The plan also calls for at least $1.5 trillion in cuts to “non-defense discretionary programs,” which does not include Medicare or Social Security, according to CNN’s review of the planned budget.

Jim Tankersley, Alan Rappeport, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Margot Sanger-Katz from the New York Times noted:

The White House budget is generally viewed as a political messaging document. Congress, which is responsible for approving government spending, is under no requirement to adhere to White House requests. Lawmakers have previously rejected many of Mr. Trump’s attempts to gut domestic programs.

But this year’s budget will serve as a blueprint for Mr. Trump’s priorities if he wins a second term. And some of the proposals can be achieved without the approval of Congress.

The president’s plan includes what officials described as $4.4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, with about $2 trillion coming from changes to safety net programs and student loan initiatives.

Those reductions encompass new work requirements for Medicaid, federal housing assistance and food stamp recipients, which are estimated to cut nearly $300 billion in spending from the programs. The budget will also cut spending on federal disability insurance benefits by $70 billion and on student loan forgiveness by $170 billion.


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