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Trump administration seeks 3.6-trillion-dollar spending cut to balance budget

Updated: 05 23 , 2017 14:21
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WASHINGTON, May 22 -- The Trump administration would cut 3.6 trillion U.S. dollars in government spending over the next 10 years to balance the federal budget, according to summary documents provided by the White Houseon Monday.

The budget plan, which will be officially released on Tuesday, calls for deep cuts in Medicaid payments, food stamps and disability benefits while keeping U.S. President Donald Trump's promise not to touch Social Security and Medicare benefits.

"We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs, or the number of people on those programs," Mick Mulvaney, Director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, told reporters on Monday.

"We're going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off those programs and get back in charge of their own lives," he said.8 For fiscal year 2018, which starts from Oct.1, 2017, the budget plan would shift 54 billion dollars from non-defense discretionary spending to defense by enacting major cuts to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Education Department and other agencies.

The budget is expected to meet with resistance from both parties in Congress and start a new round of fiscal fighting in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that he expected the Republican-led Congress to largely ignore the proposal. Many Democrats have also opposed the steep cuts to non-defense discretionary spending in the budget.

The budget also claims to eliminate the federal deficit in a decade by accelerating annual economic growth from 1.6 percent last year to 3 percent by 2021-2027 through tax reforms and spending cuts.

However, many economists are skeptical about the administration's growth assumptions. The U.S. economic growth will average about only 1.9 percent over the next 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

"We recently estimated that achieving sustained 3 percent growth would either require productivity growth in excess of the country's 60-year record or else it would require productivity growth, capital growth, and labor force participation to all reach or exceed the levels set in the booming 1990s," the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) said in a recent analysis.

"There is no justification for assuming such a high level of growth," said the CRFB, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

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