By: Mac Williams
President Trump unveiled his budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year this past week. The $4.75 trillion federal proposal would be the largest such budget in U.S. history.
According to Jim Tankersley and Michael Tackett of the New York Times, the proposed budget calls for a nearly five percent increase in military spending and an additional $8.6 billion for the construction of a wall along the southern border.
In addition to an increase in military spending, the President’s proposal also calls for a $1.9 trillion cut to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D) New York, said the budget was dead on arrival in Congress.
“This is a gut punch to the American Middle Class,” said Schumer. “The cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well as numerous other middle-class programs, are devastating, but not surprising.”
Entitlement programs are not the only ones to potentially see a reduction in funding if the proposal becomes law. According to Ben Ritz of Forbes.com, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would see its budget slashed 30 percent next year and the Department of Education losing 10 percent of its funding.
Not only would the Department of Education receive less funding, but the proposed budget would dramatically change student loan programs.
According to WBNS News Columbus, the proposed plan would eliminate forgiveness of student loans for workers in the government and some nonprofits. Currently, workers for the government and select nonprofits receive forgiveness on their student loans after making payments for 10 years.
Additionally, the plan proposes eliminating subsidized student loans which could raise costs for borrowers.
The President’s proposed budget essentially serves as a starting point for negotiations as it is Congress’s obligation and responsibility to approve federal budgets. Without congressional approval, the budget does not go into effect.
The presidential budget submission was referred to as a ‘wish list’ by the L.A. Times, the Chicago Sun Times, and USA Today among other news outlets as most of the proposal will be changed or adjusted during the appropriations process in Congress. This proposal raises new challenges for the President as he promised not to cut programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The proposed cuts to these programs have given the Democrats who are critical of the president an opportunity to slam the proposal as a slap in the face to the oldest and poorest people in America.
The 2020 a year away, congressional leaders are trying to avoid future government shutdowns.