UPDATE #3: If you’re doing the math at home, 2+2=7.
UPDATE #2: Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez is all smiles, kill the poor to stop terrorism:
As the House develops the budget resolution that will guide the FY18 appropriations process, I welcome the president’s input on federal spending priorities. Our country is at a critical junction, and the federal government cannot continue to spend money it doesn’t have. As terrorist groups continue to perpetrate evil acts and spread fear around the world, we must prioritize funding for national defense and diplomacy. It is also critical that we focus federal resources on programs that deliver results for Americans and create jobs, and we must ensure our social safety nets are sustainable for those who truly need them. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the budget and appropriations committees to ensure the priorities of the Third Congressional District are reflected in our budget blueprint and upcoming appropriations bills.
UPDATE: Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver rips into Trump’s budget:
“The President’s heartless budget proposal amply shows his lack of concern for Americans’ health, financial struggles and hopes for a better life for their kids,” DeGette said. “It punishes the most vulnerable while propping up the wealthy and making preposterous assumptions about the country’s economic growth. And it guts funding for diplomacy and development at a time when we should be investing more in our country’s leadership in an unstable world – a short-sighted approach that will leave us weaker.”
Among the President Trump’s health-related changes that will harm the middle class and the poor are a $610 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, a steep reduction in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and a $7 billion decrease in the budget of the National Institutes of Health. The President’s proposal would slash the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31.4 percent and the State Department and related programs by 29 percent. It also eliminates Health and Human Services support for Planned Parenthood and funds for international family planning.
Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder:
This is a reckless budget that would weaken America.
President Trump’s budget not only goes against his campaign promise to protect Medicare and Social Security and ensure that no American would lose their health insurance, it does so while increasing deficit military spending even though we spend more than the next seven nations combined on our military already.
The budget is a clear statement of the President’s values. In it, special interests win over the middle-class, multi-national corporations win over small businesses, and millionaires and billionaires are afforded a huge interests win over the middle-class, multi-national corporations win over small businesses, and millionaires and billionaires are afforded a huge small businesses, and millionaires and billionaires are afforded a huge tax cut at the expense of children, science, and our future.
In the 21st century, we need solutions that lift Americans up rather than knocking them down, and the President’s budget would knock down the knocking them down, and the President’s budget would knock down the very foundations that make our country great.
The New York Times reports on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal being released formally today in Washington–a budget nothing short of jaw-dropping for its massive cuts to basic safety net programs Americans have been backstopped by for generations, setting up the next battle royale and moral crisis for the Republican-controlled Congress:
The document, grandly titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” encapsulates much of the “America first” message that powered Mr. Trump’s campaign. It calls for an increase in military spending of 10 percent and spending more than $2.6 billion for border security — including $1.6 billion to begin work on a wall on the border with Mexico — as well as huge tax reductions and an improbable promise of 3 percent economic growth.
The wildly optimistic projections balance Mr. Trump’s budget, at least on paper, even though the proposal makes no changes to Social Security’s retirement program or Medicare, the two largest drivers of the nation’s debt.
To compensate, the package contains deep cuts in entitlement programs that would hit hardest many of the economically strained voters who propelled the president into office. Over the next decade, it calls for slashing more than $800 billion from Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor, while slicing $192 billion from nutritional assistance and $272 billion over all from welfare programs. And domestic programs outside of military and homeland security whose budgets are determined annually by Congress would also take a hit, their funding falling by $57 billion, or 10.6 percent.
The plan would cut by more than $72 billion the disability benefits upon which millions of Americans rely. It would eliminate loan programs that subsidize college education for the poor and those who take jobs in government or nonprofit organizations.
Of course, the president does not actually write the budget–that’s the job of Congress, just like it’s the job of the state legislature in Colorado every year. To pass Trump’s budget as-is would be a very straightforward kind of political suicide for Republicans, locking in huge losses in 2018 that are already broadly feared. At the same time, the ideological far right is clamoring for such sweeping change, with no regard for the political consequences.
Although it sets up Trump to be loathed even more than his dismal approval ratings indicate today, we assume this budget is meant to be a negotiating position as opposed to a final proposal. By chipping away around the margins of these draconian proposed cuts, congressional Republicans get to “play savior” while still making cuts that will hurt a lot of people. It’s cynical politics, to be sure, but it’s also a clever way to obscure the blame.
Because there is going to be blame. Even a fraction of these cuts are doing to do harm that will a prove a major political liability for every lawmaker who votes yes. Much like the dogma-driven campaign to repeal Obamacare, a campaign that has outlived its political usefulness but can’t be stopped now for political reasons, the nation is now forced to examine the consequences of what Republicans have advocated for years.
And it’s scary stuff.