How Trump's proposed 2020 budget hinges on significant economic growth

How Trump's proposed 2020 budget hinges on significant economic growth

Presidential budgets tend to be seen as aspirational blueprints, rarely becoming enacted policy, and Trump's proposal for the new fiscal year, which begins October 1, sets up a showdown with Congress over priorities, especially as he renews his push for money to build the U.S-Mexico border wall.

Trump's budget would also significantly increase spending at the Pentagon, reinforcing the Republican Party's budgetary priorities as established since the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan began increasing the military budget while slashing social programs.

Following a State of the Union address that contained little new policy, the budget is hardly a surprise.

Perhaps most notably among spending proposals, Trump is returning to his border wall fight. The budget redirects $3.6 billion back to military construction projects to replace the money Trump attempted to allocate to the wall last month by declaring a national emergency. For a sense of the scale of the war allocation, the $164 billion OCO fund by itself is roughly equal to the total military budget of China, at $168 billion, and almost three times the $63 billion military budget of Russian Federation.

Trump's budget increases Defense spending to $750 billion, but it reduces domestic spending by $30 billion. But they also said a military pay raise in the range of 3.1 percent is likely to survive. It relies on using the emergency Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account - derided by conservatives as a slush fund - to skirt spending caps set out in a 2011 fiscal restraint law.

It's as odd as ever to see President Trump, who defied GOP orthodoxy on entitlements throughout his 2016 run, gesturing toward big cuts to Medicare and Social Security-voters didn't punish Trump for promising not to cut entitlements in 2016, and they apparently haven't minded much that he hasn't done anything about them since. The income-driven student loan program would be reduced to one option in which borrowers would be limited to paying 12.5 percent of their discretionary income. But it would take 15 years before deficits are eliminated, according to a senior administration official.

In addition, the USA national debt has exceeded 22 trillion dollars, according to the budget document, which said "Washington must fix its longtime spending problem". Exemplifying the extreme contrast between Trump's position and that of the Democrats, probable Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke of Texas has said he wants to tear down the existing physical barriers at the southern border. Some economists, though, say the bump from the tax cuts is waning, and they project slower growth in coming years.

"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 chairman of the House Budget Committee, John Yarmouth (D-KY, ) told The New York Times that "a lot of promises have been violated in this budget".

The budget also proposes tightening around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which feeds roughly 40 million Americans and is administered by the Agriculture Department. Although less attention has been given to deficits in recent years, shortfalls of this size will place increased strain on future outlays. This needs to stop.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based think tank, criticized the tax cut extension. Meanwhile, total funding for all other agencies, from the Department of Education to Veterans Affairs and NASA, is only $543 billion, down from $597 billion budgeted in 2019 - a nine percent decrease.

"That's the president's perspective, which is always very informative, but it doesn't dictate what Congress does", Graves said when asked about the proposed cuts to DOE research offices.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump's budget "points a steady glide path" toward lower spending and borrowing as a share of the nation's economy.

Just as they did last year and the year before, members of Congress who represent Northeast Ohio are pledging to preserve the program and its funding. "We're the only country making our debt worse, which means when we hit a recession or national security crisis, the wheels are really going to come off fiscally".



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