3 things you may have missed about Trump’s budget

Janet Nguyen May 25, 2017
Copies of President Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget are stacked at the Government Publishing Office in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

3 things you may have missed about Trump’s budget

Janet Nguyen May 25, 2017
Copies of President Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget are stacked at the Government Publishing Office in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump released his budget proposal this week, a plan that could have long-ranging consequences on the future of the U.S. economy, education system and country’s voting preferences. 

With many programs expected to see billions slashed, let’s take a closer look at the specific programs that could be negatively impacted and the rationale behind such huge cuts.  

First, what’s going to happen to the debt ceiling?

Trump’s plan calls our economy “broken” and “stagnant,” alerting readers to the country’s $20 trillion debt.

The day after its release, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ended up calling on Congress to raise the debt ceiling, or the federal borrowing limit, before its August recess  — a deadline that’s earlier than expected.  

“We need to make sure we raise our debt ceiling to pay our debts,” Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee.

This could lead to political entanglements within Congress. The House Freedom Caucus, which consists of conservative Republicans, says it doesn’t want to raise the debt ceiling without even more budget cuts.

But business groups say that failing to raise the debt ceiling could mean a financial crisis, since the U.S. may not be able to pay back its debt.  

An indirect effect on graduation rates

Trump’s budget proposal for the education department means billions in losses for programs dedicated to in-classroom resources — and ones that provide child care.

The Trump administration would slash the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program, which assists low-income parents with child care services. The reason, according to budget documents: Subsidies for child care are “not consistent with the department’s core mission.”

About 4.8 million undergraduates  — or more than 25 percent of college students — are raising children, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. And a growing number of students who pursue a bachelor’s degree are “nontraditional” students, which includes enrollees like these with families.

This could negatively impact a parent’s ability to complete school. While opponents argue whether the program’s results are clear, the advocacy group Young Invicibles says such services would boost graduation rates.

But of course, there’s been a lot of talk about how Trump’s budget will have difficulty even making it through Congress. And if history ends up repeating itself, the education budget might even end up increasing. President Ronald Reagan wanted to eliminate the entire Department of Education when he first took office, only to see it grow throughout his two terms.

Potential backlash from Trump’s base

Many had been pinning their hopes on Sonny Perdue, Trump’s pick for secretary of agriculture and a man with deep ties to this industry.

But under the new budget proposal, popular programs within the Rural Development mission area, which provides financial resources for rural communities, would end up getting cut. This includes “value added producer grants,” which promote the creation of new products.

Exit polls revealed that Trump beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton among rural voters 61 to 34 percent.

Crop insurance would also be cut by $29 billion over 10 years, which has angered Republican advocates in the Senate, reported McClatchyDC. Kansas senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran are planning to push back against the proposed slashes.

“How on earth are those farmers supposed to stay in business without crop insurance?” Roberts asked.

Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union, has joined the choir of voices, saying the cuts feel like a betrayal to farmers.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), a program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would also experience budget losses. It could see cuts of $190 million over the next 10 years. Whites without a four-year college degree make up the majority of those who receive SNAP benefits in several Rustbelt states that swung from President Obama to Trump, according to the Atlantic.

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