The formal unveiling of the White House budget is a time-honored Washington ritual usually composed of a Rose Garden ceremony and a presidential tour around the country. A president's budget has to be approved by Congress, so the final form is often quite different from what the chief executive proposes.
As Donald Trump keeps racking up failures both at home and overseas, a top Republican in the Senate is saying the president is about to be dealt another blow with respect to his $4.1 trillion budget expected to be released on Tuesday.
The end result, on paper anyway, is a fiscal conservative's dream: A balanced budget by 2027 with a reduction in the nation's cumulative debt as a share of the economy. "To avoid loading our children and grandchildren with unsustainable levels of debt, the budget includes United States dollars 3.6 trillion in spending reductions - the most proposed by any President in a budget - to reach balance within 10 years". "I say 'assumed economic growth, ' because they don't show us any math of how they get there".
Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the hardline House Freedom Caucus that has railed against government spending, even said the administration's proposed to some programs were too much.
Altogether, Trump wants to carve $5.8 billion out of the NIH, with a billion dollars being cut from the National Cancer Institute, $838 million from NIAID and more.
In subsequent years, that shift between defense and nondefense discretionary spending would grow to the point where defense spending would make up two-thirds of discretionary domestic spending, a huge shift from the 50-50 split of today.
But budget expert Robert Greenstein said it would be a mistake to ignore Mr Trump's budget because Republicans are under pressure to deliver promised tax cuts and could use the budget reconciliation process to achieve that goal.
Medicaid cuts, if they are passed into law, are still a few years away. The Trump budget would scale back the cost of the defined-benefit plan to save $63 billion over a decade. But they can be a window into an administration's thinking, in this case how Trump is aligning himself with Republican efforts on Capitol Hill to overhaul health care.
The plan boosts defense spending by $54 billion, or 10 percent above 2017 levels, and notably adds $2.6 billion for border security and immigration enforcement, including $1.6 billion for building a border wall. "We're going to measure compassion by how many people we can get off those programs", said Mulvaney, who added that there would be a work requirement for some Americans to continue receiving food stamps.
In a briefing with reporters Monday, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney characterized the plan as a "taxpayer-first budget".
And they are recoiling from a $1.7 trillion cut over the coming decade from mandatory government benefit programs.
"We need folks to work", Mulvaney said.
The number of Americans collecting disability also jumped during the Great Recession. That would top the economic growth of the 1990s, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. However, that goal depends not only on the growth projections that most economists view as overly optimistic but also a variety of accounting gimmicks, including an nearly $600 billion peace dividend from winding down overseas military operations. The program has been plagued for years by an error and fraud rate of more than 20 percent. The food stamp program serves about 42 million people.
Several elements are on the chopping block, including $272 billion worth of welfare programs such as food stamps and a curtailing of children's health insurance programs.