President Donald Trump last week unveiled a $4.1 trillion spending plan that imposes deep cuts in programs for the poor and low-income Americans such as Medicaid and food stamps while boosting spending for defense and border security.

The budget plan calls for boosting defense spending by $54 billion, a 10 percent increase, for this year, with that increase financed by an equal cut to nondefense programs.

Trump’s budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 relies on faster economic growth and steep cuts to social programs to balance the budget on the backs of the poor over the next decade.

The proposal depends on sustained growth projections above 3 percent which most economists view as overly optimistic.

The budget is harsh on the poor and low-income Americans.

Trump’s plan calls for repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law, cutting Medicaid, eliminating student loan subsidies and sharply slashing food stamps.

“We need people to go to work,” White House Budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters at a briefing Monday. “If you are on food stamps, we need you to go to work. If you are on disability and you should not be, we need you to go back to work.”

The proposed cuts to food stamp cuts would hurt millions who currently depend on it and cuts to Medicaid could deny nursing home care to millions of elderly poor people.

According to the proposal, Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor and many disabled Americans, would be cut by more than $600 billion over 10 years by capping payments to states and giving governors more flexibility to manage their rosters of Medicaid recipients. Those cuts are added to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the program to 14 million people.

In 10 years, there would be a $191 billion reduction in food stamps or almost 30 percent. The food stamp program serves about 42 million people.

Trump’s budget also includes reductions in pension benefits for federal workers, in part by requiring employees to make higher contributions.

The Trump budget guts social programs while sharply reducing taxes for the wealthy including major cuts to estate, capital gains and business tax rates.

http://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/trump-budget-cuts-will-hurt-americans/article_dd2a5e84-ce74-5e28-8ea8-6432333446ae.html

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