Trump plan would cut $4.4 trillion, aim for balanced budget in 15 years

by WorldTribune Staff, February 10, 2020

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021 aims for a balanced budget by 2035 and includes $4.4 trillion in spending cuts.

The White House confirmed to reporters that the 2021 budget will total $4.8 trillion.

President Donald Trump: ‘We will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare.’ / C-SPAN

Balancing the budget hinges on a continued healthy economy, including averaging 3 percent growth over the next 15 years. The White House expects 3.1 percent fourth-quarter 2020 growth and 3 percent 2021 growth. Missing those numbers would throw off the administration’s models.

The cuts include a 26 percent reduction in funding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a 21 percent cut in foreign aid.

Trump tweeted Saturday that “we will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.”

Reports cited administration officials as acknowledging that, in an election year, the president’s budget has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled House.

Assuming the economy grows at 3 percent each year, government spending would be reduced by $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years, the White House said.

Trump’s budget includes funding increases for the Department of Veterans Affairs (13 percent), NASA (12 percent), and the Department of Homeland Security (3 percent). The boost to NASA’s budget is largely for the purpose of re-landing U.S. astronauts on the surface of the Moon by 2024.

The request includes $740.5 billion in defense spending. That includes $28.9 billion to modernize nuclear delivery systems and another $19.8 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration, reports Axios, citing “people familiar with the budget request.”

The nuclear modernization request is a nearly 20 percent increase over last year’s budget request, and prioritizes a program that would overhaul and replace America’s aging Cold War-era nuclear arsenals with new submarines, long-range bombers, and ground-based missiles.

The budget also includes $1 trillion for infrastructure.

The president’s budget also calls for cutting funding for the Commerce Department by 37 percent, the Department of Energy and Education (8 percent), the department of Housing and Urban Development (15 percent), and the Department of Health and Human Services (9 percent).

As for the huge cut in funding to the EPA, officials called the agency “bloated” and said it is continuing programs that are no longer needed and wading into areas that should be handled by state governments.

Under Trump’s budget, foreign aid would be trimmed by 21 percent by targeting what officials said is wasteful and sometimes silly funding for programs. They cited an example that would “support the Muppet Retrospectacle in New Zealand.”

Officials also said that there would also be a substantial cut in funding to the United Nations.

Trump’s budget assumes that the individual tax breaks from the Republicans’ 2017 tax law will be extended past 2025 at a cost of $1.4 trillion. White House officials said they are working on a more detailed plan to be unveiled by summer.

Trump’s budget has already riled Democrats.

“Just six short months ago, the president signed a bipartisan two-year budget deal into law but now, the president is apparently going back on his word,” House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth said. “Instead, he is proposing deep cuts to critical programs that help American families and protect our economic and national security.”


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