It didn't take long after the release of the Trump administration's first budget for the criticism from both sides of the aisle to begin.
The president's budget would cut $200 billion from the program over the next 10 years, starting with a decrease of $4.6 billion in the coming year.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers put it another way, writing in his blog, "It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the almost 40 years I have been tracking them".
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And many insurers have withdrawn from the market altogether, leaving certain areas of the country with one or no plan offerings. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana physician, is among those Republicans working on their chamber's own version of a health care plan.
The administration has privately informed GOP leaders that it would like Congress to act before the annual August recess.
Mr Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee that he went "line by line" through the federal budget and asked "Can we justify this to the folks who are actually paying for it?"
Bush won, but the concept of conservatism took a beating under his administration, as federal budgets ballooned and his vision of the role of government expanded at home and overseas.
"You have this perverse incentive effect going on, because the work requirements have been decimated", Kudlow said of Clinton-era policies that weaned people off government payments.
Trump's balanced-budget goal depends not only on 3 percent growth projections that most economists view as overly optimistic but also a variety of accounting gimmicks, including an nearly $600 billion peace dividend from winding down overseas military operations and assuming that overhauling the tax code in a way that provides no net tax cuts would spark that growth and generate more than $2 trillion in higher revenues.
The savings would be used to fund defense and homeland security initiatives, which Trump called "vital to rebuilding, modernizing, and preparing our Armed Forces for the future so that our military remains the world's preeminent fighting force". He says the "costs of excessive government commitments" has "forced us into hard choices". They don't set spending in stone; it's up to Congress to pass a final budget. In an op-ed published yesterday, he wrote that the budget represents a reversal from prioritizing the interests of the poor to "putting taxpayers first".
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"Never before really have I seen such a cruel and morally bankrupt budget".
The proposal reflects a conservative vision of smaller government, a drastic rollback of programs for the poor and disabled to prod them into the workforce and a robust hike for the military and border security.
Trump's budget whiffs on any meaningful reform to Social Security or Medicare, which limits its ability to address the nation's mounting fiscal challenges.
"Trump could be assuming that his tax cuts will not only pay for themselves but generate $2 trillion in higher revenue". Scott Peters. "Even with the boost in defense spending - which I support - this budget is a bad deal for San Diego". Economists have found the program has long-term positive impacts on children and women.
Local reaction to President Trump's spending plan
Barbara Lee (D-CA) grilled Mulvaney about the budget's 25 percent cut to food assistance for the poorest Americans . Perdue said the nation has a dilemma in how to "right-size the budget" but acknowledged the concerns.