President Donald Trump’s budget proposal could be the last chance the U.S. has to balance the budget without cutting into Medicare and Social Security benefits, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday.
“The longer you wait to address a problem, the more you have to turn the dials to fix it,” Mulvaney told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “You could make a very small change now.”
If Congress implements the modest suggested entitlement changes in Trump’s budget, “you could have a fairly large impact,” Mulvaney said. The 2018 budget includes suggestions for cutting entitlements like food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and disability insurance. (RELATED: Here’s How Trump Would Cut Billions From Food Stamps Program)
“The longer we wait to make the reforms, the harder it gets to actually balance,” Mulvaney said. “That’s why I don’t think we would be able to balance the budget next year unless we actually make some of the changes this year that we’ve proposed.”
Trump’s budget for 2018 includes some suggestions for cutting entitlement programs, also called mandatory spending programs, as the dollars spent on the program aren’t subject to the congressional budget process.
Trump promised during his campaign that he wouldn’t touch Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, something Mulvaney says is next to impossible.
“I gave [Trump] a list of proposed mandatory changes,” Mulvaney told the Senate Committee on the Budget May 25. “At the end of the last meeting he went, ‘yes, yes, yes. No, no, no.’ And the answers for no, no, no, were Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Because he said, ‘Look, I looked people in the eye when I ran for office, I promised I wouldn’t change them, I’m keeping that promise.'”
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