Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Trump proposes record spending, trillion-dollar deficit

Trump proposes record spending, trillion-dollar deficit

Unless the White House and Congress reach an agreement, the automatic spending caps from the 2011 law will kick in on October 1, adding another level of urgency to the fall deadlines. Still, the budget can serve more than one political goal, argued former Trump campaign aide Barry Bennett, who said the document highlights Trump's clashes with Democrats over border and military funding.

"This is a clear roadmap for a more fiscally responsible future if the Congress chooses to follow it", the budget reads.

"Congress has been ignoring the president's spending reductions for the last two years", explained Vought.

The $4.7 trillion request, released yesterday, would mean a 31 percent cut for EPA, an 11 percent reduction for the Energy Department and a 4 percent reduction for the Interior Department (E&E Daily, March 11). Like his predecessors, he'll soon be called on to complete the politically loaded phrase, "Send me back to the White House so that I can ..."

"Secretary DeVos is proposing gutting investments in students, teachers, public schools, and even school safety-all to make ro for her extreme privatization proposal that no one asked for". Proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid likewise face dubious prospects, but there is no serious effort to tackle those entitlement programs' soaring structural costs.

"It's not that Americans are taxed too little, it's that Washington spends too much", wrote Russ Vought, the president's acting budget director in a Fox News op-ed.

"The room to maneuver is shrinking because the vast majority of US government spending goes toward entitlements and not discretionary spending", wrote Torsten Slok, chief worldwide economist at Deutsche Bank in a note to clients that included the chart below. "It's only now in our third budget that they're willing to have a conversation about the national debt".

According to the White House, interest payments on the national debt will exceed military spending by 2024.

The White House proposed the pay raise in its $718.3 billion defense budget proposal unveiled Monday, the largest request for Pentagon funding ever. Nondefense spending would actually reach $567 billion, after incorporating funding for disaster relief, wildfire suppression and programmatic efficiencies that are exempt from spending limits.

"Decades after building-out the core of our infrastructure, much of it is in urgent need of fix, expansion, and modernization", reads a fact-sheet released alongside the budget. That includes $5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, which controls the project, and $3.6 billion from military construction accounts.

In line with previous year, the president calls for $200 billion for infrastructure spending that will leverage up to a trillion dollars, with state and private funding complementing the federal funds. "Medicare spending will go up every single year by healthy margins, and there are no structural changes for Medicare beneficiaries".

Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said childless adults age 18 to 49 who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, already must work 20 hours per week, though the latest proposal appears to extend the requirement to adults up to age 64. But the proposal nevertheless gives us a glimpse into what the Trump administration sees as its top strategic priorities as re-election season starts to ramp up in earnest.

"What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices", he said.

The budget of the National Institute of Standards and Technology would drop from $986 million to $688 million (30 percent cut).

Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, also criticized the budget's Education Department proposals, saying it showed "how wildly out of sync" DeVos is.

Yarmuth told reporters at a pen-and-pad on Monday that Democrats plan to rely on baseline estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which now forecasts 2.3% for 2019, in drawing up a counteroffer.

The Trump administration's 2020 budget blueprint released yesterday is bad news for USA science agencies - but on past experience not unexpected.

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