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Tue May 23, 2017, 09:29 PM

Trump budget trims payouts for vets, government retirees

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s “taxpayer focused” budget for fiscal 2018 includes smaller cost-of-living adjustments for veterans benefits payouts and eliminating those adjustments for some federal civilian retirees altogether.

The controversial suggestions are likely to be met with opposition from outside advocates and some lawmakers, but White House officials insist the moves are part of a broader strategy to balance the budget without sacrificing essential government services.

“(In past budgets) we haven’t put ourselves in the role of going back to taxpayers and say, ‘Here’s a program that is worth spending your money on,’” said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “These are the programs we can justify.

“I can look a taxpayer in the eye and say, ‘I need your tax money so I can help a veteran who lost two legs in the Middle East.’ But we’re not doing that for a long list of social programs that have little impact.”


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