Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives released a proposed FY 2109 budget that it believes will balance the budget in nine years.
A Brighter Future
The body boasts that if it is ultimately adopted “[b]y building on economic growth and addressing unsustainable government spending, this budget for fiscal year 2019 provides a responsible plan that will ensure A Brighter American Future.” (Its emphasis, not mine.)
Well, who could argue with that? It claims that “[t]his budget reaches balance within nine years and produces a $26 billion surplus in 2027 and a $142 billion surplus in 2028.” Those kind of numbers don’t just come out of nowhere, however. What that means is that several government entitlement programs are going to have a substantial bite taken out of them.
The Budget and Social Security
With respect to the Social Security, the House claims that if passed the budget will actually strengthen it “by putting an end to the ‘double-dipping’ loophole that currently allows individuals to receive both unemployment insurance and disability insurance simultaneously.” I don’t know of any of my clients who draw both these items during the appeals process, as usually the competing oaths — unemployment requires you to swear you can work but can’t find a job, while disability requires you to swear that you can’t effectively work full time — won’t allow it.
Beyond that item, the proposed budget does not appear to hammer Social Security that bad relative to other programs. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, that provision would amount to about a cut of some $4 billion to the program over that time period, a fraction contributing to the overall numbers cited above. The Medicaid and Medicare programs appear to be scheduled for heavier cuts. Of course this is just the proposed budget and nothing is set in stone as of yet. We shall see.
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