Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump's 'Taxpayer First' Budget




Last month when President Donald Trump released his plans to cut individual and corporate tax rates, it was touted as being "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax plan in the history of our country." And indeed it was and will be should it ever reach his desk unmolested by Congress. (Fat chance, we know.) Democrats were quick to blast it with their typical and tired refrain of it being a plan that favored the rich, because in Democrats' minds the government is more entitled to your money than you are. We "can't afford it," they cried — after they doubled our national debt, by the way. But Democrats as well as everyone else understood that tax cuts meant government spending cuts would be needed.

On Monday, Trump released his proposed budget and, true to form, it offsets the predicted drop in revenue produced by his tax cuts with cuts in government spending. Trump's "taxpayer-first' budget proposal would cut $3.6 trillion in federal spending and produce a balanced budget by 2027. And as Trump promised, the budget cuts don't touch Medicare or Social Security.

So what does get gut? The short answer is welfare spending and regulations. With national debt sitting a $20 trillion and growing, the government clearly has a spending problem, and much of it is through income redistribution. Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, stated, "We cannot continue to simply measure our compassion or our success by the amount of money we spend. We are going to measure our compassion and success by actually helping people and by respecting taxpayers who pay for it in the first place."

Medicaid would see the largest cut at $800 billion over the next decade, which is based in part on the passage of the Republican replacement of ObamaCare. The food stamp program, which grew precipitously under Barack Obama, would see a reduction of $193 billion, or 25%, over 10 years. New work requirements for individuals receiving financial aid are also included in the proposal. A growing economy will help.

Trump's proposal is clearly an aggressive budgeting plan and it remains to be seen how much of it will get through Congress, but he's intent on putting the government on a spending diet.