By Agence France-Presse
President Donald Trump sent his 2018 budget request to Congress on Tuesday. It is a political wish list that slashes $3.6 trillion over 10 years as the administration aims to balance the budget.
The cuts primarily target social safety net programs while the blueprint boosts military spending. Here are the highlights:
Medicaid: The health care program for the poor suffers a $610-billion cut over 10 years. The White House bases its projections on passage of the Republican health care bill recently approved by the House of Representatives. Democrats note the bill would slash Medicaid by $800 billion.
Food Stamps: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the US government’s modern version of food stamps, takes a hit of $193 billion.
Retirement benefits: Implementing several changes to the Federal Employees Retirement System saves $77 billion over a decade.
Student loans: Streamlining (and curtailing) student loan programs will save $76 billion.
Departments: The State Department and US Agency for International Development see their combined budget slashed by 31.5 percent, to $37.6 billion next year. The Environmental Protection Agency budget also gets cut by 31.4 percent, while the Department of Education loses 13.5 percent of its funding.
Defense: Trump’s proposed budget calls for $639 billion in Pentagon spending in 2018, up from $606 billion in 2017.
Parental leave: A new proposal allowing six weeks of paid leave for parents of newborns and adopted children, a program championed by Trump’s daughter Ivanka, costs $20 billion.
Border Security: $1.6 billion is reserved for building a wall on the US border with Mexico, a top Trump campaign priority.
Taxes: The budget proposal partly relies on the implementation of Trump’s tax overhaul, with the White House stressing that the reform’s lower tax rates would trigger investment, create jobs and help lead to the budget’s optimistic annual economic growth projection of 3.0 percent.
The plan shrinks the current system from seven brackets to just three: 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. It cuts the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
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