President Trump’s guns and butter budget, to be released Monday, doesn’t even bother to pretend to eliminate the deficit over ten years, as other budgets have, according to the Washington Post.
He will call for a lot of spending cuts, some $3 trillion of them. But there are two problems here.
First, Democrats are holding defense spending hostage to maintaining and increasing domestic spending levels. We desperately need the military outlays after the irresponsible years of decline under Barack Obama, so Republicans have to give in, at least somewhat. And unless, as Trump stated over the weekend, Americans decide to elect more Republicans, Democrats ability to do this is not going to change. Trump has done too little, though, to highlight the damage Democrats are doing.
But the other problem appears to lie with all of us. Until we decide as a nation that we cannot pay unlimited entitlements – or rather, until we accept that we are going completely broke through spending on Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid – we will run huge deficits and rack up debt.
Trump didn’t campaign on curbing entitlements for future retirees because he doesn’t care about it, and neither do voters. Let me offer my considered opinion on this: That’s bad.
Running up debt is fine. Until it’s not. Once creditors lose confidence in our ability to service our debt, they will run. That’s how countries suffer financial collapses.
There’s not a lot of give in the system. But there is a lot of tension. An economic downturn, a major terrorist attack, or a war could happen at any time. And those things cost money.
Maybe China will lend us the money to destroy their ally, North Korea. Now that would be ironic. Maybe they have a sense of humor. Of course they do!
From the Post report:
Trump’s budget plan will call for a range of spending cuts that reduce the growth of the deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years, but it would not eliminate the deficit entirely, said the people familiar with the proposal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans before they’re publicly unveiled.
GOP leaders have prioritized the tax-cut plan and a major increase to military spending over their past calls for eliminating the deficit. A vocal minority of GOP lawmakers have complained about this shift, but they proved no match for the bulk of the party last week when spending levels for the next two years were expanded.
Still, when Trump proposes a budget that falls far short of eliminating the deficit, it could heighten complaints from conservatives who have said the Republican party has strayed too far.
In 2017, Trump’s budget proposal sought to eliminate the deficit over 10 years, though his budget writers were ridiculed for what some alleged was a $2 trillion math error.
The U.S. government spends more money than it brings in through revenue, a gap known as the budget deficit. The government ran a deficit of $666 billion in 2017. The deficit in 2019 is expected to eclipse $1.1 trillion, in part because of measures put in place since Trump took office.