White House proposes $4.4 trillion budget that adds $7 trillion to deficits

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday sent Congress a $4.4 trillion budget with steep cuts in domestic programs and entitlements, including Medicare, and large increases for the military, envisioning deficits totaling at least $7.1 trillion over the next decade.

The blueprint, which has little to no chance of being enacted as written, amounts to a vision statement by Trump, whose plan discards longtime Republican orthodoxy about balancing the budget, instead embracing last year's $1.5 trillion tax cut and new spending on a major infrastructure initiative.

The plan does not completely embrace the two-year budget deal struck by Congress and signed by Trump last week to boost both domestic and military spending by $300 billion. Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, informed House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in a letter that the president is proposing to pour much of the increased domestic spending in that package into defense and fixing "some longtime budget gimmicks" that have added to the nation's deficits.

"The administration does not believe these nondefense spending levels comport with its vision for the proper role and size of the federal government," Mulvaney wrote.

That bill, which Trump signed into law last week, would increase military spending by $195 billion over the next two years and increase nondefense spending by $131 billion over that period. But Trump's budget proposal calls for a different approach and says Congress should not spend that non-defense money.

The White House is proposing $540 billion in non-defense spending for 2019 — $57 billion below the new spending cap set by Congress.

Mulvaney, in his letter, said spending at the levels Congress authorized would add too much to the federal deficit. "We believe that this level responsibly accounts for the cap deal while taking into account the current fiscal situation," he wrote.

Despite that approach, the budget proposal would add $984 billion to the federal deficit next year and would continue adding $7 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years.

Trump also calls for $200 billion over the next decade in new spending to improve the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

Trump's plan includes a request for $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for veterans' medical care and $13 billion in new spending to tackle opioid abuse.

Trump's second federal spending plan also proposes steep cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency.


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