Trump budget slams safety-net programs for poor

President Donald Trump is proposing to balance the federal budget within a decade by making sharp cuts to social safety-net programs while offering optimistic estimates of economic growth.

The result was $3.6 trillion in cuts over 10 years - the most ever proposed by a USA president - to reach balance in 2027 without touching Medicare or Social Security retirement benefits, as Mr. Trump promised.

Some of the proposed cuts to programs like Social Security's disability benefits are created to push more people into the workforce.

Together, those changes generate more than $500 million in savings for fiscal 2018 and nearly $42 billion in savings over 10 years.

The budget also reduces SNAP - Food Stamps - by $193 billion over the same time period.

"People don't mind paying their taxes as long as they know their money is not being wasted and for too long, I think, the government has not been able to prove to them that that's the case", said Mr. Mulvaney. "If you are on food stamps and you are able-bodied, we need you to go to work". "We need folks to work, we need people to go to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction".

But they also represent substantial reductions in payouts for the estimated 70,000 federal retirees each year, along with the hundreds of thousands more already collecting their pensions.

The budget, which covers the fiscal year that starts in October, is being delivered as the White House tries to push ahead on its pro-business economic agenda while grappling with the political fallout from Mr Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Special exemptions would be made for Israel and Egypt.

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The plan cuts nearly $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs and domestic agencies over the coming decade. It suggests less a 1,933-mile Berlin-style wall and more a continuation of hardened border defenses that began in the 1990s.

Facing opposition, the White House pulled its request for full funding for the wall in the 2017 fiscal year and said it would revisit the issue in the next budget. It includes a wave of cuts to benefit programs such as Medicaid, federal employee pensions, welfare benefits and farm subsidies.

To preserve those items and eliminate the budget deficit over 10 years, officials had to deliver major cuts across the rest of the budget.

The budget, in its deeply conservative framework, risks alarming some of the president's supporters. "It's wrong for America, and I think that it is a betrayal to working-class Americans". "Where's the outreach to them?" he asked.

Meanwhile, Trump's critics in the GOP shrugged at the president's overture to the budget-cutting wing of the party. He said, 'I still want you to balance the budget. "He's like a needle spinning around a broken compass, and we're not sure where he'll land".

Pushing Mr. Trump's priorities, the budget increases military, law enforcement and border security spending.

Trump proposes to spend $200 billion to encourage $1 trillion in infrastructure investments largely through public-private partnerships. How does the budget affect those who either receive or don't receive benefits.

They said that unless Trump is able to rally broader support and win more funding for construction in another fiscal year, his plans for a "big attractive wall" that he promised during his election campaign last year may not be realized.

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One of the aides said Trump still lacks the support needed.

The civilian retirees changes would be even more dramatic.

A full budget submission by the administration to Congress is months overdue and follows the release two months ago of an outline for the discretionary portion of the budget, covering defense, education, foreign aid, housing and environmental programs, among others.

"We went down the list: Yes, Yes, No, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, No", said Mulvaney. "We're going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs to get back in charge of their own lives". Key Republicans are not interested in another round of cuts to the program.

"At the end of the day, they may settle for something that's huge and egregious but less than the cosmic number they are throwing around" in the budget proposal, he said.

Several programs geared to helping low-income and disabled Americans would come under the knife in Trump's budget. CSRS beneficiaries are not eligible for Social Security payments.

If a budget proposal is a message about priorities, it's clear entitlement reform isn't even on President Trump's radar. "People actually resent neighbors who are getting goodies they haven't worked for". It's going to be a huge fight.

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