President Donald Trump is offering a $US4.8 ($A7.2) trillion election-year budget plan that recycles previously rejected cuts to domestic programs to promise a balanced budget in 15 years.
The fiscal 2021 plan also aims to boost the military and leave social security and Medicare benefits untouched while promising the deficit will crest above $US1 trillion only for the current budget year before steadily decreasing to more manageable levels.
The plan has virtually no chance and didn’t even before Trump’s impeachment scorched Washington.
Its cuts to food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid and student loans couldn’t pass when Republicans controlled Congress, much less now with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting the agenda.
Pelosi said Sunday night “once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families”.
“Year after year, President Trump’s budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on,” she said in a statement.
“Americans’ quality, affordable health care will never be safe with President Trump.”
Trump’s budget would also shred last year’s hard-won budget deal between the White House and Pelosi by imposing an immediate 5 per cent cut to non-defense agency budgets passed by Congress.
Slashing cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and taking $US700 billion out of Medicaid over a decade are also nonstarters on Capitol Hill.
However both the White House and Democrats are hopeful of progress on prescription drug prices.
The Trump budget is a blueprint written as if he could enact it without congressional approval.
It relies on rosy economic projections of 2.8 per cent growth this year and 3 per cent over the long term – in addition to fanciful claims of future cuts to domestic programs.