President Trump recently forwarded his budget request for next year to Congress. It outlines the administration’s priorities for spending and spending cuts. Of particular interest to philanthropy, the White House proposes abolishing federal funding agencies including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NEA, NEH, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Corporation for National and Community Service, and Legal Services Corporation. It also proposes major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP food assistance. Below is an analysis of key provisions from the National Council of Nonprofits:
- Rosy Economic Projections: The budget blueprint relies on growth hitting 3.1 percent this fiscal year and staying above 3 percent through 2024. According to the Washington Post, such a sustained stretch has not occurred since the 1980s. The Congressional Budget Office presumes a more modest 1.9 percent growth.
- Health and Social Programs: The President's budget proposes a two-part approach to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act: “enactment of legislation modeled closely after the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) bill” considered last year, and enactment of unspecified “additional reforms to help set government healthcare spending on a sustainable fiscal path that leads to higher value spending.” The plan also calls for major cuts to Medicare of $554 billion over ten years, and reductions to Medicaid of $250 billion over the same period. Plus, the White House is proposing to reduce funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) by $214 billion over the next decade. The draft budget suggests expanding work requirements in the SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.
- Programs Eliminated: The President is urging through his budget that Congress abolish at least 22 existing programs, including the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Legal Services Corporation, National Wildlife Refuge Fund, and the Global Climate Change Initiative.
- Education: The Administration once again calls on Congress to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which enables nonprofit employees to erase their student loan debt after 10 years.
- Infrastructure Initiative: Through a series of programs, the Administration hopes to generate $1.2 trillion from state and local governments and private investment during the next decade to close what it calls "America’s infrastructure gap." (The White House has also released a 53-page Legislative Plan for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America.)
- Border Security: The President is asking Congress to provide more than $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement, a figure that includes $18 billion to be spent for wall construction.
- Impact of the 2017 Tax Law: The budget blueprint projects that tax receipts will be $314 billion lower in 2018 than it forecast last year and almost $400 billion lower in 2019. The budget documents further project that tax receipts will be $200 billion lower in 2027 than originally expected, acknowledging that the 2017 tax law will not pay for itself, as had been promised by proponents when the legislation was being debated in December.