Bernie Sanders Grills Budget Director over Trump’s Budget Plan

Bernie Sanders Grills Budget Director over Trump’s Budget Plan

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had a heated exchange Thursday with the president’s budget chief over the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget. The Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney had to answer Sanders’ questions as part of a hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on the budget plan that was unveiled a few days ago.

The Tax Cuts for the Rich Anger Sanders

Sanders was angry with Mulvaney especially for his comments on the Congressional Budget Office, which issued the report showing that cutting $839 billion from Medicaid as Republicans proposed under their healthcare overhaul would leave 23 million people without health insurance.

Sanders noted that the budget director and other people in the Trump Cabinet should not badmouth the head of the CBO when the GOP nominated him. Mulvaney fought back against Sanders’ attack saying the CBO report was “awful” and that the panel lost all its credibility. “We can agree the CBO puts out bad data,” the White House budget chief said.

The Vermont Senator was also disgruntled with the massive cuts to the so-called “entitlement” programs while the Trump administration is pushing hard for tax cuts for the wealthy. “Answer the question: The wealthiest family in America gets a $52 billion tax break as a result of the estate tax,” Sanders blasted Mulvaney. The Senator added that this should not be happening after the administration decided to cut funds to Medicaid and programs for moms and kids.

Mulvaney replied that it is too early to estimate how much the tax cut would benefit the wealthy. The budget chief thinks it is “mathematically impossible” to come up with that number based on some general principles.

 That is not true,

Sanders replied.

Other senators on the committee found the exchange amusing. Sen Lindsey Graham described the discussion as “borderline fascinating” before he started questioning the budget director.

The Poor, Disabled the Worst Hit under Trump’s Budget

However, the Trump administration’s budget plan is far from amusing for Americans living in poverty. since it cuts deep into the poor’s social safety net. The Trump administration has proposed $3.6 trillion worth of cuts to the nation’s food stamps program, Medicaid, federal agencies, medical research, and many more.

When the budget plan was unveiled earlier this week Mulvaney said the new administration would no longer “measure compassion” by the number of people who benefit from the federally-funded programs. Instead, the administration would measure success by the number of people the government helps get off the programs.

The proposed budget tries to turn into reality the conservative vision of no government assistance for the poor and the disabled, smaller government, a larger defense budget – which gets boosted by tens of billions of dollars – and a stronger border security.

Many lawmakers in Congress criticized the blueprint with one calling it “dead on arrival”. Lawmakers on both side of the aisle insist that they will have the final say in the new budget.

The cuts to food stamps will leave millions without assistance, while Medicaid cuts could leave millions of poor seniors without nursing home care. The cuts will also push disabled people who live on social security back into workforce or streets.