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Responsible Spending Restraint and Reform

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Washington, Apr 7 | comments

In Brief

  • A smaller increase is not a spending cut.

  • Under this budget, spending will grow, on average, by 3.5 percent a year over the next decade—on the current path, it will grow by 5.2 percent.

  • This budget spends $3.5 trillion on Medicaid over the next ten years. We increase spending every year from fiscal year 2016 onward.

  • This budget spends $600 billion on food stamps over the next decade. And it does not convert SNAP into a block grant until 2019, when the economy will have recovered.

  • This budget maintains the current maximum Pell award ($5,730) throughout each of the next ten years of the budget.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities claims the House Republican budget “gets 69 percent of its cuts from low-income programs.” Instead, the House GOP budget grows them at a more sustainable rate.

  • On the current path, the federal government will spend roughly $48 trillion over the next ten years. By contrast, this budget will spend nearly $43 trillion.

  • On the current path, spending will grow, on average, by 5.2 percent a year over the next decade. Under this budget, spending will grow, on average, by 3.5 percent a year.

  • Nearly $43 trillion is enough. Increasing spending by 3.5 percent instead of 5.2 percent is hardly draconian.

President Obama and his party have made promises they can’t keep—they’ve promised huge expansions to safety-net programs that ultimately would bankrupt them.

  • Medicaid: This budget repeals Obamacare—including the law’s massive expansions of Medicaid, which are unsustainable. Instead, this budget spends $3.5 trillion on Medicaid over the next ten years. We grow the program every year from fiscal year 2016 onward. We simply slow the rate of growth and give states the flexibility to meet the unique needs of their people.

  • SNAP: This budget spends $600 billion on food stamps over the next decade. By capping open-ended federal subsidies and allowing states to develop new, innovative methods, the budget’s gradual reforms encourage states to reduce rolls and help recipients find work. The budget also doesn’t covert SNAP into a block grant until 2019, when the economy will have fully recovered. The budget also calls for time limits and work requirements like the reforms that helped reduce poverty nationwide in the mid-1990s.

  • Pell Grants: Congressional Democrats and the President have pushed Pell Grant spending to unsustainable rates. The Congressional Budget Office reports the program will face fiscal shortfalls starting in 2016 and continuing through each year of the budget window. We need to reform the program so it can keep its promises. This budget brings Pell spending under control and makes sure aid helps the truly needy, not university administrators. At the same time, this budget maintains the current maximum Pell award ($5,730) throughout each of the next ten years of the budget.

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