President Donald Trump revealed his $4.1 trillion budget Tuesday aimed at spurring fast economic growth — and it has left Democratic lawmakers reacting with venom.
Trump’s budget proposes steep cuts to welfare programs to balance the government’s books over the next decade.
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Critics have long accused Democrats of using entitlement programs to shackle the poor, and say the Democratic Party knows that voters who are dependent on welfare will vote for them.
Trump’s budget threatens to break those chains — and it has liberal lawmakers furious.
The proposal is laced with cuts to domestic agencies, food stamps, highway funding, and many welfare program — and Democrats are on the attack.
Montana Democratic Rep. Max Baucus said it adds a “new definition to la-la land.” Even establishment Republicans shied away from the aggressive bill, fearful of voter backlash.
The budget proposal says that if Trump’s initiatives are adopted and government spending slashed, the U.S. budget deficit will start declining and actually reach a small surplus of $16 billion in 2027.
The government hasn’t run a surplus since 2001 and deficits spiked during former president Barack Obama’s first term.
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During the campaign, Trump attacked the weak economic growth of the Obama years, and pledged that his economic program would boost growth from the lackluster 2 percent rates seen since the recovery began in mid-2009.
Trump’s new budget is based on sustained growth above 3 percent, sharply higher than the expectations of most private economists.
“The president believes that we must restore the greatness of our nation and reject the failed status quo that has left the American dream out of reach for too many families,” the administration said in its budget which was titled, “The New Foundation for American Greatness.”
According to budget tables released by the administration, Trump’s plan cuts almost $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs, domestic agencies and war spending over the coming decade – an almost 8 percent cut – including repealing and replacing Obama’s health law, eliminating student loan subsidies, sharply slashing food stamps, and cutting $95 billion in highway formula funding for the states.
“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 budget does feature a handful of domestic initiatives, including a six-week paid parental leave program championed by Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. Another $200 billion in federal infrastructure investments is promised to leverage another $800 billion in private investment.
Trump would keep campaign pledges to leave core Medicare and Social Security benefits for the elderly alone but that translated into even deeper cuts in programs for the poor such as food stamps.
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The Associated Press contributed to this article