So, President Trump has released his draft budget.
And it completely demolishes any notion of fiscal responsibility. The budget amounts to $4.4 trillion. It’s an Obama-level budget. And it guarantees a deficit of $832 billion in 2018, $984 billion in 2019, $987 billion in 2020, $916 billion in 2021, $908 billion in 2022, and $778 billion in 2023. For those counting at home, that’s $5.4 trillion added to the national debt by 2023. For the next decade, we’d increase the debt by $7.2 trillion. If you include the government spending passed just last week, we’re looking at $1.2 trillion in debt this year alone.
The budget contains blowout spending for infrastructure — some $200 billion for such funding, even though the vast majority of infrastructure funding should come from the states. He wants another $13 billion for combating the opioid epidemic, $23 billion for border security. The budget does nothing to tackle the real drivers of the national debt: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. And the budget says nothing about changing Obamacare; in fact, it includes a plan to send $1.6 trillion in federal subsidies to the states to combat the effects of getting rid of the individual mandate. No wonder Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, asked on Sunday whether he would have voted for last week’s spending binge, answered, “probably not.” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), head of the House Freedom Caucus, suggested the budget was dead on arrival: “I am not investing much time critiquing the budget when it has little to do with what Congress actually spends.”
Democrats found a way to be upset with the budget anyway. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) of the House Budget Committee stated, “The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs, and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.” What’s he talking about? The budget includes proposals to prevent seniors from reaching a point where they can’t pay for their medication, and another proposal to allow those on Medicaid to receive “market-based health-care grants.” The budget also cuts food stamps by making them work-dependent and sending food rather than EBT cards alone to beneficiaries.
Is the budget worth concerning ourselves over? No more so than Obama’s budgets. But it is demonstrative of the fact that Republicans talk a good game on fiscal conservatism, but abandon that game as soon as they’re elected. Then they start blowing out the budget again, just with their priorities at the head.