The 5 Biggest Blows of Trump's Proposed 2018 Budget for Cities
Local governments face broad cuts to affordable housing, health programs and much more, as well as education vouchers, in the proposed 2018 budget.
The $4 trillion plus "taxpayer-first" proposed 2018 budget boosts defense spending and school choice. Here's a roundup of the five biggest blows to municipal governments.
#1 It Kills Numerous Funding Programs
President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal eliminates 66 federal programs for a savings of $26.7 billion, according to The Hill.
On the list: ending the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Community Development Block Grants, National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER grants), National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and so many more programs that cities, counties and towns rely on.
#2 "Savage" on Environment
While major environmental program cuts have been expected, "By the standard of the last 30 years of American politics, these are unprecedented proposals for the EPA specifically," according to the Atlantic.
The 2018 budget proposal is not much different than the "skinny budget" President Trump proposed in March, which reduces EPA's budget by 30 percent, cutting enforcement by 40 percent and the agency's overall workforce by 20 percent.
Superfund cleanups would be cut by 25 percent.
Numerous National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Energy and other agencies' work related to climate change, clean innovation and general pollution control are all on the chopping block.
The Atlantic reported these changes are unlikely to become reality, however, because any federal budget passed before 2021 is subject to the Budget Control Act, which set some automatic spending cuts and prohibited increasing defense spending while cutting non-defense discretionary spending. Bi-partisan support in the Senate would be needed to get the proposed 2018 budget approved.
#3 "Catastrophic" on Affordable Housing
Overall, President Trump proposed to reduce the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) discretionary budget by $8 billion, down to approximately $40.7 billion, according to Donna Kimura at Affordable Housing Finance.
This budget, if enacted, would deal devastating blows to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities,” said Matthew Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties, noting that elderly citizens, the disabled and children would be stripped of safety nets from heating assistance to child services.
HUD cuts also slash the public housing capital fund to $628 million, down from $1.9 billion, and reduce public housing operating funds by more than half a billion dollars.
#4 "Contradicts" Education Promises
According to Time Magazine, critics say the 2018 budget "contradicts President Donald Trump's campaign promises to make college more affordable at a time when student debt is ballooning," calling him elitist.
The budget proposes to eliminate subsidized student loans, saving $1 billion, and end the student debt forgiveness program.
For elementary and secondary education, the budget proposes an additional $1 billion in funds to encourage school districts to advance choice options, through charter and voucher-type programs. There is also $250 million in scholarships for low-income families to attend private schools, and $167 million for charter schools.
#5 "Targets" Health
Trump's proposed 2018 budget would extend the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for another two years, but cut it by $5.8 billion, according to the Chicago Tribune.
More than 7 million are covered under CHIP. More than half of U.S. states cover children above the administration's proposed cutoff -- Federal payments would no longer match state spending on coverage for kids whose families make more than two-and-a-half times the federal poverty level, about $51,000 for a family of three.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates federal Medicaid spending reductions in the proposed budget amount to $839 billion over 10 years, although the White House told PBS the budget does not touch Medicare.