9 Key Takeaways From Trump’s First Budget

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from The Daily Signal,

Two months after unveiling his “skinny budget,” President Donald Trump officially submitted his completed budget to Congress.

The proposal sends a strong message to Washington that the president intends to jump-start the country’s lagging economy and reign in the size and scope of the federal government.

If implemented by Congress, the plan could spark economic growth not seen in more than a decade and put the country back on a sustainable fiscal path.

Here are nine key aspects of the plan.

1. Balances within 10 years.

2. Relies on optimistic economic growth projections.

3. Cuts non-defense discretionary programs by more than $1.4 trillion.

4. Prioritizes national defense.

5. Lowers discretionary spending caps. In fiscal year 2018, the president proposes spending $1.065 trillion on base discretionary spending, in line with the Budget Control Act caps. Through 2021 (the expiration of the discretionary caps), the budget would propose spending $170 billion less than current law estimates. Over the next 10 years, the plan would reduce total discretionary spending by more than $1.2 trillion compared to current law.

6. Repeals and replaces Obamacare and its taxes.

7. Makes progress on some mandatory reforms, but ignores biggest drivers of debt. Including the aforementioned cuts to Obamacare, the budget would cut mandatory spending by more than $1.7 trillion by 2027. This includes major and much-needed reforms to programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, federal welfare programs, and student loans. However, other than disability insurance, it does nothing to address Social Security and Medicare, which, along with interest on the debt, are projected to consume almost 85 cents of every additional dollar of federal spending in the next 10 years. It will be very challenging, if not impossible, to sustain a balanced budget and keep debt on a downward path without reforming these programs.

8. Increases spending in other mandatory programs.

Trump has long promised that he would propose a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges. Included within his budget proposal is an additional $200 billion in spending that would help to reach this goal.

9. A new entitlement program.

The budget also establishes a paid parental leave program, which is projected to cost $19 billion over the next 10 years. Establishing a new entitlement program sets a bad precedent and could put more strain on already limited resources.

Finally, the budget would spend $29 billion to extend the Veterans Choice Program, which is intended to provide access to private care for our nation’s veterans.

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