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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trump’s “Taxpayer First” Budget Proposal Puts the Emphasis Back on the Givers as Opposed to the Takers and No It’s Not Cruel It’s Sorely Needed

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney detailed President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal last week. Here’s what you need to know and what I have to say about it.

Trump’s budget, like all other presidents’ budgets, is merely what the current administration hopes for and will not be enacted, includes $3.6 trillion in total spending reductions over the next decade with the biggest savings coming from the assumed adoption of the American Health Care Act, which faces quite a substantial hurdle in the Senate.

The budget is titled: “A new foundation for American jobs” and this emphasis on economic growth is why so many Americans put a businessman in charge of the world’s largest economy. For once, the administration is at least attempting to care for the taxpayers that fund this enormous government sprawling across the swampy streets of Washington DC. Mulvaney said they’re thinking more about the people who are paying the taxes, trying to justify why hardworking people should cough up their money for many redundant or repetitive programs instead of only focusing on those receiving the benefits and growing the ineffective welfare state. 

The balancing of the budget relies on some optimistic assumptions such as Trump signing into law tax reform that is revenue neutral and revving the economy back to 3% growth. To get there, we need some historic tax cuts and slashing of regulations. At least Trump’s budget aims to make some significant cuts.  

The safety net takes a pretty good hit. Trump’s budget would cut spending on “mandatory” programs by about $1.7 trillion over the next ten years. In addition, Medicaid would be cut by $610 billion over that same time. However, Social Security and Medicare would not be touched.

Other cuts to discretionary spending that Trump wants to see are: EPA (-31.4% off budget in first year), State Department (-29.1%), Agriculture (-20.5%), Labor (-19.8%), and Health and Human Services (16.2%). This is merely trimming of the fat. There is plenty more excess to get rid of. Sadly, we will likely see the government continue to grow and grow no matter which party has Congress or the White House because elected lawmakers in Congress would rather give out more stuff to people as it is easier to get votes that way instead of doing the right thing and acting responsible to get our country back on a sustainable path forward. 

 But so few actually care about the fiscal stability of our nation. 

Trump wants to spend even more on our already ridiculous defense budget by 4.6% in 2018. The law and order candidate turned president also wants to increase the Homeland Security budget by 6.8% next year. Ivanka’s influence in the budget? $19 billion over 10 years to help states provide paid parental leave for new parents.

The mainstream media is melting down over Trump daring to touch the many anti-poverty programs that have done next to nothing to alleviate poverty in this country. Heaven forbid anyone slow the constant and steepening rise of big government here in the land of the free. The media continues to spin Trump’s budget as a “billionaire’s budget” but I don’t see how that adds up. Our politicians for years have attempted to throw more money at the problem of poverty and have not changed their strategy despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. As Lee Ohanian’s April 2014 piece in the Hoover Institution’s Hoover Digest stated: “An army of programs didn’t just fail to defeat poverty. It created a culture of permanent government assistance.” 

 That didn’t stop Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who got screwed over last year by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, from lecturing Mr. Mulvaney on the horrors involved in Trump’s budget.

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