US President Donald Trump‘s first budget includes draconian cuts of $3.6 trillion over 10 years in social assistance and medical coverage programs for lower-income citizens, moves aimed at eliminating the deficit.

Presented on Tuesday, the proposal’s main entitlement programs affected by Trump’s plan is Medicaid, which provides healthcare coverage to low-income citizens and which will see its funding reduced by $610 billion under the proposal, Efe news reported.

The budget plan for Fiscal Year 2018, entitled ‘A New Foundation for American Greatness’ and which promises to eliminate the budget deficit — predicted to be 3.1 % of GDP at year-end — over a decade, nevertheless provides for increases in defense and border security spending.

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said at the budget presentation that compassion can no longer be measured by the number of social programs and the money spent on such programs.

Mulvaney insisted that, with an agenda including cutting taxes deregulation and reduction of the size of the federal government, the administration will be able to achieve sustainable growth of 3 per cent annually over the coming decade.

“Everything is key to getting us back to 3 per cent (growth),” Mulvaney said.

The budget will reduce the SNAP food subsidy program for low-income families — a total of 44 million people in 2016 — by almost $200 billion and it authorizes more responsibility for the states in defining requirements for the program’s beneficiaries in terms of minimum hours worked and actively conducting job searches.

Trump has criticized the ongoing increase in entitlements pushed by his predecessor Barack Obama during and after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, since this does not provide incentives for people to return to the labour market and contributes to an disequilibrium in the public accounts.

First Published | 24 May 2017 7:04 AM
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