President Trump will seek to balance the federal budget partly by cutting congressional appropriations, other than defense, by 2 percent every year.
The “two-penny plan,” as Office and Management Budget Director Mick Mulvaney described it to reporters Monday, would cut $1.4 trillion in nondefense spending out of $3.6 trillion in total cuts over 10 years, limiting that category of government spending to historically low levels.
Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, set to be delivered to Congress Tuesday, is a wish list of policies and plans for spending and taxing. To reach balance by the 10th year, meaning that spending will equal tax revenue, it will include major savings from anti-poverty programs, including Medicaid and food stamps. It also will bank on an acceleration in economic growth.
One key to the fiscal math underlying the plan will be successive cuts to a category of spending known as non-defense discretionary spending. That category excludes benefits for which people automatically qualify, such as Social Security, but includes all the programs that Congress passes legislation to fund each year, including law enforcement, job training, scientific research and infrastructure.
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