|Selling the Rope||
11 February 2020
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
Donald Trump talks a great deal about what he is doing or has done or will do to revive America's glorious past. Then, he releases his proposals for government spending for the next fiscal year, and one realizes just how big his lies are. Fortunately, with the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives where all funding bills begin, his proposals are dead on arrival. However, budgets show where true priorities lie because they are where money and mouths meet or fail to do so. In this instance, the failure is epic in scale.
USA Today briefs, "The Trump blueprint calls for a 22% cut to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development's budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
"The Education Department's budget would be slashed by $5.6 billion, or 7.8%. The Environmental Protection Agency's budget would shrink by $2.4 billion, a 26% cut that is sure to meet resistance from Democrats in Congress.
"The Energy Department would see an 8.1% cut, while Health and Human Services' budget would be slashed by 10%, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget would shrink by 15.2%.
"Military spending would jump by 0.3%. Homeland Security's budget would rise by $1.6 billion, a 3.2% increase. NASA would see a 12% increase, while Veterans Affairs would get a 14% boost."
All of the cuts break various campaign promises. And an increase in defense spending does not seem to suggest an end to the endless wars Mr. Trump has promised to end. However, one will focus on the cuts.
First and foremost, Mr. Trump promised that he would get the federal budget deficit under control. His very first budget proposal claimed that the deficit would decline to $456 billion in 2021, and it would disappear by 2027. The White House now acknowledges the deficit Mr. Trump is suggesting will be roughly $1 trillion, more than double what he promised just three years ago. Moreover, the deficit will not go away for 15 years says the administration presuming very rosy economic conditions arise.
The safety net of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program [SNAP, formerly food stamps], housing assistance and so on is also attacked. Combined, these will see $2 trillion in cuts over the next decade if Mr. Trump has his way. If the cut does not come right off the top, the government intends to restrict access to various programs, such as Social Security Disability payments.
More tax cuts for the very well-to-do are part of the plan that will keep the deficit soaring. The Hill reports, "The budget assumes that the individual tax cuts from the 2017 GOP tax law will not expire in 2025, but there is some confusion as to the $1.4 trillion figure. The entirety of the GOP tax law amounted to $1.5 trillion on paper when it passed. Budget-watchers note that the inflated figure could be a hint toward a broader tax cut plan."
Rick Tyler, an anti-Trump conservative strategist, summed the proposal up beautifully when he said, "Politically, with its proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- all programs Trump promised not to touch -- it's a gift to Democrats."
One wonders whether the Democrats can take time out from their traditional circular firing squad to turn their guns on the Republicans' broken promises. Mr. Trump is offering to sell them the rope with which they can hang him.
© Copyright 2020 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.