In the 8:00 A.M. hour, on Tuesday morning, a big, fat proposed Federal budget was officially released. It includes lots of cuts in social services and programs for the poor.
Here's White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.
"We're trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place and I think it's fairly compassionate to go to them and say, 'Look we're not going to ask you for your hard earned money anymore, unless we can guarantee to you that that money's actually being used in a proper function.' And I think that is about as compassionate as you can get."
What might this mean for us here in California? Politico's David Siders pointed out some key highlights.
Will this be tough for everyone?
"This will be tough going for everyone but in one main way California, especially in the social safety net cuts...that's because the rate of impoverished people here when adjusted for the cost of living is highest in the nation."
What part of the social safety net will be focused on the most?
"Well, I think that Medicaid cuts are going to be huge and talked about, especially in California. So, this state embraced it fully if cuts are enacted, depending on how severely you could be looking at close to $20 billion dollars a year in increased cost in California or millions more people on the uninsured role. And that pushes into other sectors of the economy and programs as well.
You look at everything, I think foreign subsidies and other states will be a big thing where you'll get pushback and then federal student aid, food stamps, social security disability...these are the hot-button issues that always get talked about..."
Is the state in a position to pick up some of the slack from EPA cuts?
"Yeah. I think better than most states it is. California leads the nation in a lot of these environmental programs and is served as a model for others and they also have significant buy-in not only from lawmakers in Sacramento but from the public if you look at recent polling. Voters here want the state to do its own thing on climate.
And there's some reasonable evidence from past voter initiatives that Californians are willing to pay a little bit for that. How much is unclear, but willing to pay something...California is in a position to at least work its own programs to the extent that it's allowed to by courts in which there will inevitably be fights with the federal government."
To listen to the full segment, click the blue play button above.