Monday, February 27, 2017

Orange You Glad You Have A Budget Plan

The Trump regime's proposed budget is mostly useless, like all White House budget plans (since Congress actually writes the numbers) but it at least lets us know what the top priorities are for this White House.  Apparently that top priority is preparing for war, and a hell of a lot of it.

President Donald Trump is proposing major defense spending increases and big cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department and other federal agencies in a proposed budget to be presented soon to Congress, said a person familiar with the plan.

The outline of the budget will be made public as early as Monday, according to two White House officials. They declined to comment further on what the budget may entail. Trump is scheduled to make an address to Congress on Tuesday night.

Congress ultimately determines how the federal government’s money is spent, and the White House budget is mostly an opening bid in what could be a protracted process to set a federal spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump’s first budget won’t touch entitlement programs such as Social Security or Medicare. It will instead focus on ways to produce long-term economic growth by slashing taxes, he said in an interview taped Friday and broadcast Sunday on Fox News Channel.

The New York Times reported Sunday evening that the budget will assume economic growth of 2.4 percent, below the 3 percent growth Trump has pledged. Mnuchin said that the administration thinks a combination of tax cuts and regulatory relief will lead to economic growth of 3 percent or higher. “We’re going to make sure this works,” he said in the Fox interview. “This is all about creating growth.”

The proposed cuts to the State Department are substantial, maybe as much as 30% (and even more draconian to the EPA.)  Meanwhile, the Pentagon will get a significant increase in funding at the direct expense of domestic programs.  Social Security and Medicare still have "third-rail" status, but other domestic safety net programs like Medicaid, SNAP benefits, child care subsidies, federal education programs like free and reduced-price school lunches?  They are expected to be gutted.

In other words, the very programs that Trump voters depend on the most will be the first to go in order to pay for more F-35s and nukes, and most of all, tax cuts for the rich.  Now, the Trump regime will say this will create millions of new jobs that will eliminate the need for social programs, but we all know that coal jobs and manufacturing jobs aren't coming back, so the reality is Trump is going to screw over his base and continue to blame that on those people for four years.

I'm betting the Ryan Austerity Budget isn't too far off from this, if anything it will have more domestic program cuts and less defense spending to allow for even larger tax cuts for the 1%.

But stay tuned folks.  The Age of GOP Austerity Cuts are coming.

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