Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump's First Budget: Meat Cleaver Approach — Disregards and Hurts Most Americans

Serving up: “Trump steaks” or “Trump rich pal stakes”

INTRODUCTION: Trump’s long-awaited budget… I refer to call it “Doomsday 101” - thus far, we see him offer this outline: 
HIGHLIGHTS according to OMB: The FY-18 budget plan spreadsheet obtained by Third Way shows the Trump administration will attempt to to get these things passed into law. We call this his “Dirty Dozen” as it were:
1.  Eliminate the Social Service Block Grant, a $2 billion program that helps help low-income families;
2.  Zero out $3 billion of heating assistance for the poor (LIHEAP);
3.  Cut funding for substance abuse and mental health treatment by 20 percent.
4.  Raid funding for student financial aid,
5.  Cut the National Science Foundation funding by more than ten percent,
6.  Eliminate the budget for the PBS.
7.  Reduce and cut the food assistance program (SNAP).
8.  Add $54B down payment to modernize the military and nuclear defenses.
9.  Increase DOD troop strength by 56,000 / almost half for the Army.
10. Increase, and separate into different line item, the overseas contingency operations funding for Afghanistan and Iraq of some $64.5B.
11.  Get and use $2.6B for border security for materials and planning for the Trump wall to be built between the U.S. and Mexico – which could cost as much as $26B. 
(I NOTE: Trump vowed to force the Mexico to pay for the wall, but he has backed away from that pledge more recently and is now demanding that it be financed with U.S. taxpayers' dollars – so, grab your wallet the Flim-Flam man has arrived and hang on tight).
12. Get and use $200B as down payment for infrastructure as part Trump’s pledge of $1 trillion on infrastructure over the next decade (I NOTE: He has not offered any plausible plan thus far).
1.  Republicans will likely push back on the tens of billions of dollars in cuts in domestic programs that enjoy broad bipartisan support (and helps keep them in office) like back in March when Trump tried to force Congress into making deep cuts in the EPA, NIH, STATE, HUD, and an array of other agencies – those efforts were roundly rejected.
2.  Budget watchdogs and other critics warn that this Trump budget is likely to be loaded with gimmicks to mask the true cost of the president's initiatives and exaggerate economic growth forecasts in computing long term deficits.
(I NOTE: Last year’s FY deficit was $587B).
3.  Trump and his “team” claims they can wipe the deficit through a combination of steep cuts in “certain means-tested entitlement programs,” other savings, and robust economic growth to help drive up federal tax revenues. (I NOTE: Now is a good time to pause and laugh).
The White House is projecting that the economy will grow at a rate of 3 percent annually by 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal, arguing that its proposed tax cuts and regulatory relief will spur economic growth and leave the federal coffers flush with new tax revenues.
The non-partisan CBO, no stranger to Republican supply side economics, in January projected just 1.9 percent average growth in the gross domestic product through 2027, absent some significant change in fiscal policy.

4.  The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) also is urging that the administration to reject “rosy scenarios and other budget gimmicks in order to be credible.”
5.  As to the administration's 3 percent growth projection, CRFB says that “with an aging population, achieving that level of growth would be quite unlikely and would require a heroic mix of smart policy and very good luck.”
Finally I note:  Luck? Yeah, need lots of luck. Good luck finding that Unicorn!!!
GOP's Budget Mascot

Also from the OMB re: their Health care repeal and reform numbers report.
(I note: Expect that to be very ugly). 
Sadly, Trump's base still sticks with him – why is that do you suppose? Whew boy, who in the world knows — call it their wishing and hoping dream, I guess???

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