With another year quickly approaching, the White House unveiled President Trump’s budget for the fiscal year 2021. This budget is a record $4.75 trillion.There are multiple cuts to many initiatives as well as increased funding to a few areas.
The proposed plan includes $2 trillion in cuts to safety net programs and student loan initiatives. In addition, these cuts also come with new work requirements for Medicaid, federal housing assistance and food stamp recipients, which are estimated to cut $300 billion in spending from those specific programs. The budget also includes cuts on federal disability insurance benefits by $70 billion and on student loan programs by $170 billion.
More specifically on student loans, the budget calls for eliminating the subsidized federal loans and ending the public service loan forgiveness, an incentive that allows teachers, police officers, government workers and other public servants to cancel their remaining federal student loans after a decade. It is important to note, however, these proposals were also in last year’s budget, but Congress failed to adopt them.
For Medicaid, the budget proposes changes that reduce spending on the benefits for the poor and disabled. However, the budget also has some expansions of Medicaid, allowing states the option to cover inpatient care for psychiatric care or drug addiction treatment.
In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will also see cuts by 9 percent, but there is a raise in funding levels for infectious disease activities, perhaps as a response to Coronavirus. The White House is attempting to ‘refocus’ the CDC on infectious diseases and opioid control.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is facing a 26 percent budget cut. The budget does not mention climate change, however, Republicans in Congress are planning on unveiling a climate change agenda that focuses on funding for innovation. Specifically, this involves development for carbon capture technology and batteries to store solar power. However, under the President’s 2021 budget plan, the Department of Energy that oversees research for these initiatives, would receive a 29 percent cut to all programs that are not related to defense and nuclear weapons.
Other programs that focus on foreign aid, public broadcasting and up to 50 environmental programs are removed under this proposal. However, there are increases for restricting immigration (such as $2 billion for the wall along the southern border and additional funds to develop weapons). Also, there is a budget increase for Veteran Affairs by 14.5 percent which includes suicide prevention, opiod addiction services, and healthcare.
Overall, President Trump’s budget seems to
reflect what he believes are the key issues he brought up in his own campaign such as immigration, military funding, and increased care for veterans, but cuts a lot of other programs to focus funding elsewhere.
Source: New York Times