By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) President Donald Trump hates children. He hates women. He hates poor people. He’s going to starve them all and deny them healthcare. And he will ‘take away Medicare.’
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You can expect to hear all of those claims and more from Democrats as the presidential campaign cycle heats up, thanks to the president’s 2020 budget request.
According to USA Features News, the $4.8 trillion budget seeks increases in defense spending, veterans’ benefits and health care, as well as new money for rural infrastructure (roads, bridges, Internet) and an additional $2 billion for border wall spending.
But the budget also curbs spending in other areas:
Trump also wants to cut funding to the United Nations, trim the size of the Environmental Protection Agency, and reduce foreign aid. And for the remaining aid to foreign countries, the president wants to put conditions on the money so that it is not spent inappropriately or for things it was not intended to fund.
The EPA, an agency officials called â€œbloated,â€ would be cut by 26 percent under the budget plan.
The presidentâ€™s $4.8 trillion â€œBudget for Americaâ€™s Futureâ€ also highlights cuts he wants and has requested in the past but have been brushed aside by Congress, the news site reported.
NASA would also receive a 12-percent funding increase.
And this is where Democrats will see a political opportunity.
The Wall Street Journal adds:
President Trump is expected to release a $4.8 trillion budget Monday that charts a path for a potential second term, proposing steep reductions in social-safety-net programs and foreign aid and higher outlays for defense and veterans.
In fact, Democrats are already panning the proposal.
Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, has called the budget â€œdestructive and irrational,” adding that it cutsÂ â€œprograms that help Americans make ends meetâ€”all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.”
He added: â€œCongress will stand firm against this Presidentâ€™s broken promises.â€
Here are some cold realities. As long as Democrats control the House, were all spending bills must originate, there is no way they will accept a budget that cuts anything from Medicare or Medicaid. In fact, they’ll use that part of the president’s proposal against him — in the presidential race and in individual congressional races, especially after Trump promised in 2016 he would protect funding for Medicare and Medicaid.
But the president also promised to trim the federal deficit, and that’s another promise he has yet to deliver. But that one’s not on him; since his first budget, he has tried to convince Congress that such social safety net programs, under current funding formulas, are not sustainable.
Lawmakers know that. But they also know that touching those programs is the political equivalent of standing in a room hyper-contaminated with radiation; you’re not going to last long.
The federal budget deficit would shrink to $966 billion next year from anÂ estimated $1 trillion in 2020, but more than twice what Mr. Trump projected in his first budget proposal in 2017. The administration forecasts total deficits over the next decade would shrink $4.6 trillion under its plan, and annual deficits would be eliminated by 2035. During his 2016 campaign, Mr. TrumpÂ discussedÂ paying off the federal debt within eight years.
So, Trump plans to use his budget request as a campaign issue all its own: Do Americans wantÂ his vision for the future or the Democratic nominee’s vision?
And for all the good things in Trump’s budget — the military, the wall, cutting foreign aid, trimming the EPA — much of his support comes from older Americans who are either retired or set to retire within the next 10-15 years; telling them he’s going to cut their benefits isn’t liable to go over well. And “the deficit” doesn’t really resonate with most Americans.
Trump will have to convince those voters to support him instead of a brand of socialism that will result in higher taxes, lowered economic expectations, hits to their retirement accounts via a staggering stock market, and continued growth in debt and spending. Can he?
Time will tell. But Trump’s supporters have been through hell and back with him. They are loyal. If anyone can pull this off — and in a fantastic economy — it’s this president.
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