2018 Budget highlights (Source)
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Balancing the Budget
The resolution draws a path toward a balanced budget within 10 years, without raising taxes, and places the government on a fiscal course sustainable for the long term. The national debt is already an impediment to greater prosperity and a threat to the security of future generations. This committee’s budget significantly reduces spending and reforms government programs to put us on a sustainable spending path.
“Building a Better America” balances the budget within 10 years by cutting spending, reforming government, and growing the economy.
The budget produces a $9 billion surplus in fiscal year 2027. The budget achieves $6.5 trillion in total deficit reduction over 10 years.
This budget sets overall discretionary spending for fiscal year 2018 at $1.132 trillion. • $621.5 billion in defense discretionary spending. • $511 billion in non-defense discretionary spending.
Promoting Economic Growth
For the past eight years, government has been a hindrance to economic growth. This budget urges reversing this trend with a combination of pro-growth policies, including deficit reduction, spending restraint, comprehensive tax reform, welfare reform, Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, and regulatory reform. All can promote more robust growth over the longer term.
Provides reconciliation instructions for fundamental tax reform that will lower rates, simplify the code, and incentive employers to hire and grow. Calls for major reform of regulations that hold back job creation and innovation
Ensuring a Strong National Defense
Defending America’s security is the highest priority of the Federal Government. To that end, this budget supports robust funding for troop training, equipment, compensation, and improved readiness.
The budget reflects Congress’s commitment to our men and women in uniform and provides them with the resources to complete the mission at hand. Provides significant funding to secure the border and protect the homeland. Calls for increased accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve.
Our budget makes strategic investments to rebuild and expand our military power and strengthen our homeland security. For fiscal year 2018, we invest $621.5 billion in base funding for the national defense budget, $75 billion to fight the global war on terrorism, and significant resources for border and homeland security.
Improving the Sustainability of Medicare
Notwithstanding Medicare’s popularity, there are far better ways to achieve the program’s worthy goals. Retirees should be able to choose the coverage plan best suited to their particular needs, rather than accept a set of benefits dictated by Washington. The program should ensure doctors and patients make health care decisions for themselves, and promote competition among insurers to expand choices of coverage and restrain costs. Reforms such as these will have the added benefit of improving Medicare’s long-term financial condition, ensuring it will be there for future generations.
This budget addresses Obamacare by incorporating the House-passed American Health Care Act and all of its savings.
Saves and strengthens Medicare by moving to a premium support system that gives seniors more control of their health care.
This lowers costs for beneficiaries and the government through increased competition while also maintaining the option for traditional Medicare. Reforms Medicaid to ensure the program works best for the most vulnerable and gives states more power to tailor their Medicaid programs to meet the unique needs of their populations.
Restoring the Proper Role of State and Local Governments
The resolution encourages the innovation and creativity of State and local governments. It calls for returning significant authority to the States, which possess not only the ability but also the will to reform and modernize programs that serve their citizens. The laboratories of democracy, not the Federal Government, are where these reforms should happen.
In areas such as health care, welfare, environmental regulation, education, workforce development, and transportation, we put federal spending on a budget and empower the states, which are best suited to address the individual needs of their citizens and communities.
Reforming Government Programs While Improving Accountability
Every tax dollar collected by the Federal Government was generated by private-sector economic activity. Responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars is a fundamental component of the budget resolution. At every opportunity possible, the budget reforms government programs and improves accountability to while generating better outcomes for Americans.
This budget gives reconciliation instructions to 11 House committees to achieve at least $203 billion in mandatory savings and reforms. This budget also aims to reduce government-wide improper payments by $700 billion.
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Health Care: Our budget envisions a health care system with patients, not government, at the center. All of the health care reforms we recommend promote free-market principles that expand choice and freedom. Our budget includes: o Free-market reforms of the House-passed “American Health Care Act”; o Additional reforms to put Medicaid on a budget and refocus resources on the most vulnerable citizens; and o Reforms to strengthen and save Medicare by moving to an optional premium support system.
Social Welfare Programs: The goal of social welfare programs should not be to serve as many people as possible. The goal should be to lift people out of poverty. The reforms assumed in our budget strive to do just that. Our budget: o Strengthens work requirements to ensure that welfare programs lift people out of poverty and o Gives states more authority to design and implement welfare programs to meet the needs of their citizens.
Education and Workforce Development: A necessary component of a thriving economy is an educated and skilled workforce. Federal programs that ostensibly serve these goals are sometimes mismanaged or contain perverse incentives. Our budget: o Strengthens career and technical education and reforms workforce development programs so that Americans from all walks of life can access a quality education; o Simplifies and streamlines higher education programs and financing; and o Encourages innovation in higher education.
Improper Payments: According to the Government Accountability Office [GAO], these payments totaled a stunning $144.3 billion in 2016, up from $107.1 billion in 2012. This figure likely understates the full extent of the problem. Our budget recommends steps to finally address the issue of improper payments and ensure that the federal government is a good steward of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.
Tax and Banking Reform: Reducing the size and scope of government will not only reduce federal spending, but it will also allow for further reforms to produce economic growth. Our budget promotes: o Deficit-neutral tax reform to get our economy moving and o Financial regulatory reform, including repeal of Dodd-Frank
Economic Growth: The Congressional Budget Office and outside experts estimate that progrowth policies have a significant effect on our economy and federal revenue. While economic growth alone will not balance the budget, it is a necessary to put our country on a sound fiscal path. We estimate that the pro-growth policies of health care reform, tax reform, welfare reform, and deficit reduction assumed in our budget will yield economic growth of 2.6 percent on average over the 10-year budget window, resulting in $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.
Energy/Transportation/Commerce: While the federal government plays an important role in supporting research and targeted investments, too many federal programs are wasteful and crowd out private-sector efforts. Our budget recommends reforms to get the federal government out of the way and allow the private sector to do its job and flourish. Our budget: o Eliminates corporate welfare and o Reduces funding for commercial research and development.
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This information is all from the House Budget committee