Yesterday, the Trump administration released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal. If enacted, the budget (outlined in a document called “Efficient, Effective, Accountable – An American Budget”) would add at least $7.1 trillion to the federal debt over the next decade, even while it calls for the same job-killing delivery service cuts to the U.S. Postal Service that last year’s budget proposal did. Additionally, it calls for massive federal spending reductions over ten years, including major cuts to federal and postal employee benefit programs, and a federal pay freeze starting in 2019.
Although, Congress is still working out the appropriation bills for the current 2018 fiscal year (following last week’s bipartisan deal on budget caps, see the March issue of The Postal Record), the process for next year’s budget begins with the annual submission of the president’s budget. The administration’s budget blueprint is not binding, but it does signal to Congress which policies are advocated by the president.
While breaking campaign promises by calling for massive cuts to Medicare ($554 billion) and Medicaid ($250 billion) over 10 years, the administration’s new budget also calls for gutting the Affordable Care Act and aims direct attacks on federal and postal employees and their agencies.
“The chickens are coming home to roost from last year’s reckless tax cuts, which increased the federal budget deficit to more than $1 trillion this year,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “The administration is once again targeting the Postal Service for service reductions and calling for pension and health insurance cuts for postal and federal employees – all to pay for last year’s corporate tax giveaways. These proposals are outrageous and we will resist them with all our might.”
A summary of the budget’s attacks on federal retirement, Federal Employees Health Benefit Program health insurance, the Postal Service and the Labor Department shows that the Trump budget would cost letter carriers and their families thousands of dollars annually – more than wiping out any tax savings provided to us by the temporary middle-class tax cuts enacted in 2017.
“In the weeks ahead, we will work with allies in both parties to fight these proposals,” Rolando said.