Thursday, May 25, 2017

Looking At Trump's Very Bad Budget Proposal

Donald Trump has released his budget proposal -- and it's even worse than feared. The chart above shows how the discretionary spending would occur under Trump's budget plan. Note that the military budget grows larger, and will comprise about 59% of the entire discretionary budget. That means that all other spending (spending on programs that actually benefit American citizens) will make up only 41% of the discretionary budget.

This country already spends more on the military than the next 10-12 biggest spenders combined -- more than 40% of the entire world's military spending. The idea that we need to spend more on the military is ludicrous. And don't expect any of this new money to find its way to our soldiers, sailors, Marines, or airmen. It will all be funneled to the corporations in the military-industrial complex.

And how is this new military spending going to be paid for. A huge hunk of it will come from cuts in every domestic program -- cuts to education, cuts to the EPA, cuts to Agriculture, cuts to help for the poor (food stamps, children's lunches, welfare, Meals on Wheels), cuts to Medicaid ($600 billion more than the $800 billion already in Trumpcare) and many other programs that help American citizens. In other words, he's throwing the poor, the working class, and the middle class under the bus to give more to our already bloated military -- and to provide huge new tax cuts for the corporations and the rich.

But even the huge cuts to programs that help Americans won't provide enough money to pay for the increase in military spending and the new tax cuts for the rich and corporations. To make up the difference he depends on some ridiculous and incompetent accounting tricks and some wishful magical thinking.

He say his his budget will bring in more than $2 trillion in new government revenues due to an increase in economic growth (growth above 3%). And that money will make up the shortfall in the budget. But he's also said that same money would pay for his tax cuts to the rich and corporations. In other words, he's counting that money twice (an accounting trick that no reputable accountant would do). That money can't be used to pay for two different things.

But it's just wishful thinking anyway. Tax cuts don't produce economic growth, especially when they are limited to the rich and the corporations. The budget would take much money out of the economy with the cuts to nearly every government program, while reducing significantly the revenue received from the rich and corporations. It won't grow the economy at all, but it will balloon the deficit and significantly increase the national debt.

If you thought the budget proposed by Speaker Ryan the last few years was bad (and it was), then you should be shocked by the Trump budget. It's nothing short of a disaster. It will hurt the country and most of its citizens.

Here's what Lindsay Koshgarian of the National Priorities Project had to say about Trump's ridiculous budget:

We knew some of what to expect in President Trump’s first full budget proposal, based on his first budget blueprint and foreboding media stories. What we didn’t know was the full extent of whom Trump’s budget would seek to help, and at what cost.
War on the Poor: Trump’s budget declares war on those struggling to make it, regardless of income. The Trump budget makes massive cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, federal student loans, children’s health insurance, disability insurance and more.
Just Plain War: The United States military budget is already higher than at any point during the hyper- militaristic Reagan years. Trump’s proposal is to ramp this spending up even further, all while making drastic cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid programs that work to head off conflicts around the world. In the absence of any clear, overarching foreign policy strategy, this combination is asking for war.
And it keeps getting worse: after gutting these programs in 2018, Trump wants to keep the cuts going for the next ten years. A discretionary domestic cut of ten percent – and as high as thirty percent to some programs – would be followed by additional cuts of two percent every year for the next ten years. Talk about trying to draw blood from a stone.
Meanwhile, the budget warns that the planned annual increases for the military after 2018 are just placeholders, with the real numbers to be worked out later. One may be tempted to think, in light of candidate Trump’s anti-interventionist stance (if you can remember back that far), that this future assessment might moderate military spending to better align it with a more reserved American military stance. But that would be na├»ve – if President Trump has shown us anything with this budget, it’s that he will seek to increase military spending, even if he doesn’t know why he’s doing it.
Before any of this comes to fruition, Congress will debate their own budget priorities. Decisions in Congress in the next weeks and months will set a new course for military spending, our social safety net, and a little thing called climate change for years to come. 
If you want a say in what that future looks like, now is a good time to pick up the phone and call your representative.

1 comment:

  1. Right! Spending needed money on illegal wars defending ourselves from ......????Who exactly?


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