Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years.
.. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.
.. The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs
.. Numerous social-welfare programs grew after the financial crisis, leading to complaints from many Republicans that more should be done to shift people out of these programs and back into the workforce. Shortly after he was sworn in, Trump said, “We want to get our people off welfare and back to work. . . . It’s out of control.”
.. In that budget, he sought a big increase in military and border spending combined with major cuts to housing, environmental protection, foreign aid, research and development.
.. The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps, and it swelled following the financial crisis
.. As the economy has improved, enrollment in the program hasn’t changed as much as many had forecast.
.. An average of 44 million people received SNAP benefits in 2016, down from a peak of 47 million in 2013. Just 28 million people received the benefits in 2008.
.. SNAP already has a work requirement, which typically cuts benefits for most able-bodied adults who don’t have children. But states were given more flexibility during the recent economic downturn to extend the benefits for a longer period
.. the U.S. government spends between $680 billion and $800 billion a year on anti-poverty programs, and considering wholesale changes to many of these initiatives is worthwhile, given questions about the effectiveness of how the money is spent.
.. it could pave the way for states to pursue even stricter restrictions, such as drug tests, that courts have often rejected.
.. In March, the White House signaled that it wanted to eliminate money for a range of other programs that are funded each year by Congress. This included federal funding for Habitat for Humanity, subsidized school lunches and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
.. a change in the funding for Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program, which provide cash benefits for the poor and disabled.
.. budget director, former South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney
.. A key element of the budget plan will be the assumption that huge tax cuts will result in an unprecedented level of economic growth.
.. these tax cuts would end up creating trillions of dollars in new revenue, something budget experts from both parties have disputed.
.. The tax cuts would particularly benefit the wealthiest Americans, as Trump has proposing cutting the estate tax, capital gains and business tax rates.
.. there has been a deficit in the United States every year since the end of the Clinton administration
.. “People think government is cheaper than it is because we’ve allowed ourselves to borrow money for a long period of time and not worry about paying it back.”
.. Its premise is that the creation of more wealth will help all Americans succeed, and the Trump administration believes that some anti-poverty programs have created a culture of dependency that prevents people from re-entering the workforce.
.. “I don’t think the Republicans on the Hill are going to feel a strong compulsion to follow the president,” Haskins said. “They are not afraid of him.”
.. the White House is expected to call for $200 billion for infrastructure projects and an additional $25 billion over 10 years for a new program designed by Ivanka Trump that would create six weeks of parental leave benefits.
WHICH side are you on? Are you with Donald Trump, or with the Washington insiders who want to undo his election? Do you favor the legitimate president of the United States, or an unelected “deep state” — bureaucrats, judges, former F.B.I. directors, the media — that’s determined not to let him govern? Are you going to let a counterrevolution by elites bring down a man who was elevated to the White House precisely because the country knows that its elite is no longer fit to govern?
This is how the debate over Donald Trump’s mounting difficulties is being framed by some of my fellow conservatives, from Sean Hannity to more serious pundits and intellectuals.
.. But Trump is not actually governing as a populist or revolutionary, and the rolling crises of his first four months are not really about resistance to an “America First” or “drain the swamp” agenda
the various outsider groups that cast their lot with him
- working-class ex-Democrats to
- antiwar conservatives to
- free-trade skeptics to
- build-the-wall immigration hawks to
- religious conservatives fearful for their liberties —
have seen him pick very few difficult fights on their behalf.
.. his legislative agenda has been standard establishment-Republican fare — spending cuts to pay for upper-bracket tax cuts, rinse, repeat.
.. he’s mostly handed foreign policy over to his military advisers
.. Religious conservatives got Neil Gorsuch because he was a pedigreed insider. But they aren’t getting anything but symbolism on religious liberty, because Trump doesn’t want to pick a fight with the elite consensus on gay and transgender rights.
the establishment keeps winning:
- Planned Parenthood was funded in the budget deal and
- the border wall was not, the promised
- NAFTA rollback looks more likely to be a toothless renegotiation, Trump’s occasional talk about
- breaking up the big banks is clearly just talk,
- we haven’t torn up the Iran deal or
- ditched the Paris climate accords, and more.
.. populism needs a seat at the table of power in the West, and the people who voted for our president do deserve a tribune.
.. Trump is not that figure. As a populist he’s a paper tiger
.. too incompetent and self-absorbed to fight for them.
he’s not being dogged by leaks and accusations because
- he’s trying to turn the Republican Party into a “worker’s party” (he isn’t), or because
- he’s throwing the money-changers out of the republic’s temples (don’t make me laugh), or because
- he’s taking steps to reduce America’s role as policeman of the world (none are evident).
.. he’s at war with the institutions that surround him because he behaves consistently erratically and inappropriately and dangerously, and perhaps criminally as well.
.. there is no elite “counterrevolution” here for them to resist, because there is no Trump revolution in the first place.
the Ryan plan would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next decade. If you add these revenue losses to the numbers The Post cites, you get a much larger deficit in 2020, roughly $1.3 trillion.
.. And that’s about the same as the budget office’s estimate of the 2020 deficit under the Obama administration’s plans. That is, Mr. Ryan may speak about the deficit in apocalyptic terms, but even if you believe that his proposed spending cuts are feasible — which you shouldn’t — the Roadmap wouldn’t reduce the deficit. All it would do is cut benefits for the middle class while slashing taxes on the rich.
.. The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.
.. most of the alleged savings in the Ryan plan come from assuming zero dollar growth in domestic discretionary spending, which includes everything from energy policy to education to the court system. This would amount to a 25 percent cut once you adjust for inflation and population growth. How would such a severe cut be achieved? What specific programs would be slashed? Mr. Ryan doesn’t say.
.. After 2020, the main alleged saving would come from sharp cuts in Medicare, achieved by dismantling Medicare as we know it, and instead giving seniors vouchers and telling them to buy their own insurance.
.. There’s also the unwillingness of self-styled centrists to face up to the realities of the modern Republican Party; they want to pretend, in the teeth of overwhelming evidence, that there are still people in the G.O.P. making sense. And last but not least, there’s deference to power — the G.O.P. is a resurgent political force, so one mustn’t point out that its intellectual heroes have no clothes.
But they don’t. The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.