Friday, 28 July, 2017

Mulvaney defends Trump budget's social safety net cuts

Cabinet members head to Capitol Hill to defend Trump budget Republican says Trump's budget presumes 'Goldilocks' economy
Kelvin Reese | 31 May, 2017, 00:52

Republicans have had many opportunities over the years to ax such budget zombies as the National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting subsidies, and the Economic Development Administration. But then the $2 trillion is also counted as economic growth for the goal of reducing the deficit.

"This budget presumes a Goldilocks economy" that never goes into recession, Sanford said. "It assumes that the stars perfectly align with regard to economic drivers". "Can you guess the last time we had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, growth at 3 percent and inflation held at 2 percent?" Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop said the cuts "fail the test of basic human decency".

On May 23, the White House released its full budget proposal, which not only calls for kicking millions of working- and middle-class Americans off vital public assistance programs to make room for enormous tax cuts for top income earners, but also bases its tax revenue projections on expected annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3 percent by 2020. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told Mulvaney that cuts to food stamps, payments to the disabled, and other programs are "astonishing and frankly immoral".

"If states get fewer dollars from the federal government, there are only so many options, because states have to balance the budget every year", said Elizabeth Carpenter, a health policy expert with the consulting firm Avalare Health. But if you are a working-class student trying to figure out how you could possibly afford college, your dream of a college education could evaporate because of more than $143 billion in cuts to student financial assistance programs. On Tuesday, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) criticized the budget's impact on poor people, saying in a statement that "the proposed cuts to some federal programs are not mere shavings; they are rather deep and harmful to my district spanning Kentucky's Appalachian region and other rural, impoverished parts of the country".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday before the House Ways and Means hearing on Treasury Department's fiscal 2018 budget proposals.

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Police say the boy, whom they did not name, migrated to Germany illegally in 2015 before registering as an asylum seeker. German security officials have repeatedly warned that the country is in the crosshairs of global terrorism groups.

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White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney slammed what he says is not mere fear-mongering but outright lies by Democrats about President Trump's federal budget proposal.

Mulvaney gave an unapologetic defense of Trump proposals to slash programs related to the environment, education, health care for the poor and foreign aid. There's little appetite among Capitol Hill Republicans for a genuine effort to balance the budget; GOP lawmakers this year are instead pressing to rewrite the tax code and forge a spending deal with Democrats that would permit higher military spending.

Trump's budget would cut several key K-12 programs, while boosting funding for charter and private school voucher programs.

Mulvaney said that the White House did not have a "stated policy yet" on what Congress should do about the debt ceiling. "So I think [Lawrence Summers], I think in all fairness to him, the issue is more of this is a preliminary document that will be refined, as we go through a process with Congress determining how money is spent".

The budget also claims reforms to Medicaid will save $610 billion in the next 10 years.

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