President Trump’s newly released 2020 budget proposal contains nearly $2.7 trillion in savings, plus more reductions in spending than those of any other administration in history.
Some key priorities outlined in the budget are key issues that the administration will continue to pursue, according to OMB Acting Director Russell Vought, who announced the budget proposal at a White House press briefing on Monday.
Key issues addressed include the following:
- Supporting public and private school choice through a federal tax credit
- Protecting the people through national defense research and development
- Procurement to fund the best military possible
- Major reforms in strengthening work requirements for benefits such as Medicaid, TANF, SNAP (food stamps), and certain housing programs
- A strong southern border wall
- Reforming underperforming programs
Vought pointed out some wasteful and overfunded programs that could use budget reform and resizing. “Take the $600 million that we spend at 85 different cultural and exchange programs at the Department of State, despite the fact that only one percent of the one million students that come to this country to study ever benefited from that program, and the fact that, at the State Department, these programs doubled in the last 10 to 15 years.”
Compassion and Hard-Work Ethic
Maintaining compassion while reforming is a delicate balance. The welfare-to-work initiative with job training has received some criticism, mostly because of misunderstanding the objective. The goal is not to take away aid from those who need it the most, but to help low-income families end dependence on government benefits.
Lauren Claffey, former deputy assistant secretary of public affairs at the Dept. of Homeland Security, now a GOP strategist, told FOXNews that the work-for-benefits requirement likely will not make it into the final budget.
However, Claffey appreciates the strong statement that the proposed reform is making: “… everyone in America needs to work towards the American dream and that we’re not going to be a welfare state.” She said, “It’s a starting point. It’s a negotiation point. I think that it speaks loudly to this administration’s priorities on reforming a lot of our entitlement systems, making sure that they last into the generations to come.”
On the proposed cost of creating an effective southern border, Claffey said the number President Trump has given for border security in the 2020 budget is “actually more reasonable as a first pass for this year’s budget process.”