Donald Trump

Trump Isn't Serious About Balancing the Budget

As long as Medicare, Social Security, and the Pentagon can't be touched, it's hard to believe the president has discovered his inner fiscal hawk.

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Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS/Newscom

When it comes to reducing the federal deficit, take President Donald Trump neither literally nor seriously.

Trump says he's worried about the growing gap between how much the government spends and how much revenue it takes in—as well he should be, with the deficit on pace to surpass $1 trillion during the current fiscal year. This is a new thing for him. Trump came into office declaring himself the "king of debt" and showed very little concern for deficit spending as his Republican allies in Congress cut taxes and busted through spending caps to boost the budgets of both the military and domestic programs. That combination caused the national debt to rise more than $2 trillion on Trump's watch.

Now the president "is changing his tune on the budget in public statements," write Josh Dawsey and Damian Paletta in a lengthy piece published Sunday by The Washington Post.

Trump's inner deficit hawk allegedly emerged last month, when he abruptly ordered his cabinet secretaries to prepare plans for 5 percent across-the-board cuts. In private meetings and at public events since then, Trump has made repeated comments about the need to pay down the debt, Dawsey and Paletta report from conversations with 10 administration officials.

Still, one of the biggest impediments to Trump's interest in cutting the deficit is Trump himself. Publically, the president has promised not to touch entitlement programs such as Social Security or Medicaid—indeed, protecting those programs from supposed Democratic efforts to change them is a prominent message at nearly every Trump rally. And privately, the Post notes, Trump has taken Pentagon cuts off the table.

Of course, entitlement spending is the biggest single driver of America's long-term deficit. Absent any changes to current law, those two programs alone will run a $100 trillion deficit over the next 30 years while the rest of the government will run a slight surplus, according to Congressional Budget Office projections. Military spending, which Trump urged Congress to hike to an all-time high earlier this year, will total $718 billion next year and dwarfs all other non-entitlement spending in the federal budget.

In other words, it's very difficult to be serious about balancing the budget without at least acknowledging that Social Security, Medicare, and the Pentagon will have to be part of the solution.

Beyond those big-picture problems, any attempt to bring the federal government's spending and revenue into balance will likely be stymied by the fact that Trump doesn't seem to understand the numbers he is dealing with. In a telling anecdote from the Post's Sunday story, Trump was reportedly surprised to learn that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff earns a mere $200,000 annually. Trump guessed $5 million and suggested that raises should be in order.

This fits into a pattern for the president. In July, Trump tweeted that his steel and aluminum tariffs would help pay down the national debt. The problem, as I wrote at the time, is that the tariffs are expected to generate about $21 billion this year, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank. The national debt is $21 trillion.

The same problem blows a big hole in Trump's plan to shave 5 percent off all federal departments except the Pentagon. That sort of reduction in discretionary spending would save about $70 billion next year—or about 7 percent of the expected $1 trillion deficit.

Cutting $70 billion in discretionary spending is nothing to sneeze at, of course, and it's surely heartening to hear that Trump is interested in addressing the federal government's out-of-control spending. But the deficit is reaching such astronomical heights that it's realistically not possible to address it while keeping military and entitlement spending out of the discussion.

Even if Trump were serious about slashing federal spending, Congress' desires are ultimately more important—and Congress clearly wants to spend more money on pretty much everything. Last year, for example, the Trump administration made specific proposals for cutting food stamps, farm subsidies, and other discretionary programs. Overall, the proposed 2018 budget aimed to reduce federal spending by about 9 percent over 10 years.

The Republican-controlled Congress instead hiked spending by $400 billion. Trump then signed the budget deal.

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121 responses to “Trump Isn't Serious About Balancing the Budget

  1. The Republicans in Congress hiked spending. Yes, Trump signed the spending bill. But his only alternative to no doing that was to shut down the government. I think Trump should have shut down the government and now at least partially owns that spending bill for not doing so.

    Reason can claim to think the same but it isn’t very convinced. The last time we had a shut down was when the Republicans in the Senate shut down the government trying to stop Obamacare. And Reason, with the loan exceptin of Gillespie, had a fit and called the Republicans in the Senate everything short of terrorists for shutting down the government. So, forgive me if I am skeptical of any claim Reason makes that they would have supported Trump had he vetoed the bill and caused a shut down.

    All Trump can do is ask Congress to cut the budget or shut down the government with his veto if they don’t. Since reason can’t credibily claim to support a shut down, they appearently think that the budget would be cut if only Trump asked nicely.

    1. And pussies grab themselves I suppose.

      If a unified Republican government can’t cut spending, then why does anyone here bother supporting them?

      1. A unified Democratic government couldn’t either. No one wants to cut spending. That is the entire point you maligant half wit.

        1. Democrats don’t want to! They don’t run on it. But at least they can keep the fucking trains running.

          1. Tell that to Yellow Line riders.

          2. It’s weird watching Tony suck the cock of government inefficiency.

            1. It’s weird watching Tony suck the cock of government inefficiency.

              But quite predictable to see JesseAz slurping at Trump’s (tiny) cock.

              1. Hihn, you need to turn the morphine drip up to 11, and leave it there.

          3. Look everyone! It’s Wesley Mouch!

            1. Look everybody! It’s Ellsworth Toohey!!

        2. But Trump’s Republicans have added more new debt in less than 2 years than Obama added in 8 years.
          Obama started with the 2nd worst recession since the 1930s, but handed Trump the longest recovery ever, for an incoming President.

          Trump is also the first President ever. to double the deficit in one year,, during a recovery.

          1. During the 8 years of Obama’s presidency the debt went up close to $9 trillion. So, no, the Trump Republicans HAVE NOT added more new debt in 2 years.

            Just look up the national debt numbers 2000-2016.

            But if this trend continues, they will.

            1. Just look up the national debt numbers 2000-2016.

              Check the CBO forecast for 2024. 8 years vs 8 years.

              And check the news. The assholes are now trying ANOTHER large tax cut, which was sprung today with no prior notice. This is even crazier than Dubya.

        3. The Republicans are outspending the democrats by a long shot.

      2. Pussies don’t have opposable thumbs. Other than that they’re perfect in every way.

  2. I think the focus on Trump when discussing issues like this is stupid. Trump isn’t serious about cutting spending, but neither are the rest of the Repubs or Dems, and Trump has the least amount of control (or have we forgotten how budgets are passed?) I understand that the executive branch submits a budget (which is itself very stupid, but that’s a separate issue), yet Congress can tell him to go to hell and pass the budget they want and dare the Pres to shut down the government.

    1. Exactly. Congress sets the budget. It doesn’t matter how serious Trump is. It matters how serious Congress is and they are not serious at all as you point out. If the day ever comes that Trump shuts down the government because Congress cut spending too much, then we can talk about Trump not being serious about cutting the budget. Until that day comes, however, what matters is Congress not being serious.

    2. Trump can’t do anything with veto proof budgets as he has had sent to him. I’m really starting to wonder if reason needs to send their editors to a fofth grade civics class.

      1. Reason needs to send their editors to a fofth grade civics class.

        You go first, learn what veto-proof means and get back to us.

        Trump only threatens a government shutdown if they don’t INCREASE spending!!! (border wall)
        And he did say that his cult of minions would lie to defend him of even murder, in broad daylight, with witnesses.
        Berniebots = Trumpbots. Two sidedsof the same counterfeit coin.

        1. You’re not wanted here Hihn, go away.

          1. Fuck off, slaver.

      2. Just veto everything. Libertarian moment.

        No budget passes, Congress goes home, government shuts down, states start deciding how much government we really need, people move to the state that makes the most sense to them.

      3. He is backing the spending, not vetoing it.

        1. The only threats he makes are for MORE spending.
          Being worse than Obama, fiscally, is scary.

    3. Appropriations must start in the House, no?

      Early next year the Democrats will have a chance to display their seriousness about cutting spending.

      1. They’re both losers. And Trump is ALREADY worse than Obama on the debt … which he promised to pay off in 8 years! How much abuse will his minions put up with?

    4. Why does the President submit a budget that no one listens to? Blame Nixon.
      Most people don’t realize it, but all of this budget stuff got really stupid because of Nixon. Prior to Nixon, the President had a shit-ton more authority. One of the tricks that Nixon tried to pull was not spending money on programs he didn’t like. Not little programs, think $100 billion programs.

      Anyway, this pissed Congress off. When Nixon was on the road to impeachment, they saw an opportunity. They passed a law which basically made the Congressional budget a law. The president must dutifully execute the law, remember? Any sane President would have fought this tooth-and-nail. Nixon couldn’t. So, he signed it hoping that it would buy him some political capital with Congress and forestall the impeachment.

      Anyway, this is why you have the President submitting a budget that is just a “suggestion” and Congress having absolute authority. It was all Nixon.

  3. Has any presidential candidate proposed reforming SS or Medicare since W took a swing at SS in 2001?

    On the contrary, I seem to recall Democrats demonizing Paul Ryan with images of pushing Granny down a hill in her wheelchair. The claim was that he was proposing a decrease in the rate of increase in Medicare…

    So… let me know when you find a candidate who has a plan for cutting entitlements. I will vote for him/her.

    1. Newt Gingrich was serious. And Clinton stuck it to him.

      1. so did National Review. Bob Acosta won a career from it.

        1. Bush’s plan was — like Cato’s — bat-shit crazy. That’s why it was abandoned.
          Gobbers haven’t figured out how to deal with the massive deficits of their bullshit.

      2. Newt Gingrich was seriousUntil after the election. (lol)

    2. Paul Ryan made a passing flirtation with entitlement reform, and ran with his tail between his legs when the commercials of him pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff began running 24-7 on the TV. Sad part is, his reforms were too little, too slow to even be a workable solution, but rather than run a counter proposal, Team Blue shrieked.

      1. Paul Ryan made a passing flirtation with entitlement reform, and ran with his tail between his legs when the commercials of him pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff began running 24-7 on the TV.

        His plan was bullshit, no way to pay for it, which is why they keep losing. NO plan.

    3. “Has any presidential candidate proposed reforming SS or Medicare since W took a swing at SS in 2001?”

      President Obama proposed reducing cost-of-living increases under Social Security to limit the program’s growth. This was during negotiations w/ House Speaker John A. Boehner on a 4 trillion dollar debt reduction package combining entitlement reform with additional tax revenue. But the majority of those taxes would have come from the wealthy (who currently rent the Republican Party) so Boehner said no.

      Of course Boehner continued to moan about deficits as Republicans always do. Paul Ryan wailed over debt – then proposed trillions in tax cuts with a magic asterisk to pay for it. All the GOP candidates in the last election sternly criticized deficits, even while calling for 4-6 trillion in tax cuts, massive hikes in military spending, and gobs of money for pet spending projects.

      Of course, Democratic candidates also over-pledged, particularly Sanders. You know who over promised the least? Treated the electorate most like adults? The candidate who lost : Clinton

      Oh, and George W? He promised trillions in tax cuts, a trillion dollar new drug benefit – totally unfunded and put on the nation’s credit card – and a Social Security privatization plan which would have added still more trillions in debt. He inherited a surplus. He left a projected deficit of 1.3 trillion the day BHO took office.

      1. He inherited a surplus. He left a projected deficit of 1.3 trillion the day BHO took office.

        H&R “libertarians” deny those facts.

        1. Because they aren’t facts. They are a sign of an uneducated idiot. He debt never decreased under Clinton. It went up every year. It got close to being static….. Then a funny thing called the dot com bubble burst reducing federal receipts by about 10%. Maybe you’ve heard of this? Maybe? No? Oh that’s right. You’re a god damn idiot.

          Now let’s look at the bush deficit… This includes fy09 which he never signed. Reid and pelosi pushed a continuing resolution bill forward until Obama was inaugurated and then he signed it. It included the outlays from TARPs loan program even though it was a one time spending event whose outlays we’re completely repaid by 2012. Of course Obama counted the repayments as revenue for his deficit reduction while keeping the outlays into the baseline budgeting from 2010 on. The alone counts for almost 15% of the fy09 deficit. Weird you ignorant assholes keep one time spending programs that were repaid in your analysis… Weird.

          1. They are a sign of an uneducated idiot.

            (snort) Let’s correct all your bluders, trashmouth.

            I’ll educate you on Dubya
            1) 85% of his tax cuts went to taxpayers UNDER $250,000, who were paying only 45% of the tax — wealth redistribution GOP style!!

            2) Even crazier, Medicare Prescriptions were “paid for” by looting the general fund. The most recent theft was over 20% of the entire personal income tax, $300 billion, which is …. wait for it … GREATER than the Trust Fund! — which would have been bankrupt years ago — if the Bush GOP didn’t bail out the liberal entitlement.

            On those alone, the Bush GOP borrowed TRILLIONS to buy middle-class votes — then lost the White House and the entire Congress. Brilliant!

            Nearly half of ALL Medicare spending now comes from the income tax. Forever. THAT is the Bush legacy.

            TARP??? OMFG. TARP was signed by Bush in October of 2008!!!!
            SHAMELESS bullshit on counting debt repayment as revenue — and ignorant of accounting.

            ALSO wrong on TARP being repaid!! Per those proggies at NATIONAL REVIEW!!

            this includes fy09 which he never signed

            ALSO clueless on the federal FY.

            To libertarians, NOTHING is funnier than watching brainwashed tribal Dems and Reps arguing which is worse. Left – Right = Zero

            Anything else?

            1. Yes, time to die Hihn.

              1. Fuck off, slaver.
                Facts are facts. And you can’t shout them down.

                1. Anyone who uses the term “slaver” is automatically deducted 30 IQ points for lack of name calling prowess.

                  1. Is that worse than wishing people dead, because if they prove you a bullshittter?
                    With a link to proof — from their own side of the aisle. Which ADDS 60 points to IQ.

                    That is NOT how Sevo and other goobers use the phrase.

          2. There’s so much bad-faith weaseling here it can’t manage basic coherence.

            First, we have typical right-wing bull**** of feigning not to understand the difference between yearly deficits and accumulating national debt. Thus conservative hacks can ignore progress in reducing the deficit of each year’s budget. In the case of Bill Clinton, they can pretend-away surpluses.

            Next, we get word-salad babble about the dot com bubble. Since there isn’t a point to be found in any of it, I’ll step-in with substance : Reagan had a very good economic expansion and exploded the national debt. This is because supply-side “economics” isn’t economics at all, but just another political tactic to promise free stuff. Clinton had an slightly better expansion and produced yearly surpluses by the end of his presidency. This was because of the expansion – plus deficit packages of taxes, structural spending restraints, and spending cuts by both Clinton and GHW Bush. Trump has a good economic expansion and is producing trillion dollar debt. See supply-side comment above.

            And we get this howler: Obama didn’t inherit a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit because GWB didn’t sign a budget. There’s comical. There’s stupid. There’s dishonest. And there’s comical stupid dishonest, which is what that rates. Obama cut plus-trillion dollar deficits by over half his last term. Trump inherited a improving situation and is making things much much worse. Weasel away all you want, those facts don’t change.

            1. Speaking of bullshit …

              In the case of Bill Clinton, they can pretend-away surpluses.

              There was never any surplus,

              Thus conservative hacks can ignore progress in reducing the deficit of each year’s budget. In the case of Bill Clinton, they can pretend-away surpluses.

              The deficit DID decrease each year — to ALMOST zero.

              Roughly $130 B in 1999
              Roughly $18 B in 2000 — but that was still from earlier FICA increases

              Then the recession Clinton left behind.

              1. Speaking of bullshit. Part 2

                Reagan had a very good economic expansion and exploded the national debt. This is because supply-side “economics” isn’t economics at all,…

                Umm, you admit he launched the greatest expansion in 100 years — from a FAR worse economy than Obama had,

                Then you got flim-flammed and confused revenues with spending. On revenues, Reagan’s tax cuts were IDENTICAL to Kennedy’s — across the board, NO sides. “Supply-side” is right-wing bullshit.

                On spending, google “Grace Commission,” his campaign promise, headed by a REAL billionaire, Peter Grace, who recruited hands-on managers and accountants, who went into the departments looking for non-damaging cuts, NO committee bullshit.

                Their cuts would have saved an estimated $10 TRILLION by 2000. So what happened? It was all buried. In a REPUBLICAN Senate. So Reagan began talking about a Line Item Veto — against his own party!

                You want to blame Republicans for being as useless as Democrats … and as useless as today, fine But you have been shamefully brainwashed on Reagan.

                it was Republicans who fucked up Obamacare. Obama had campaigned as a moderate, and the original proposal had a bipartisan compromise that would have killed single-payer forever. They turned it down, which drove him to his far-left. When they worked with Kennedy on tax cuts they had a bipartisan plan HATED by the far-left.

              2. There was a lot of messing with the numbers BUT it was a HELL of a lot better than either the dems or republicans have done in a long long time.

                1. Here’s an even crazier one.

                  Reagan’s and Kenned’s tax cuts were identical (different depreciation reforms for double-digit inflation.) And launched the ONLY postwar booms.

                  But liberals now say Kennedy’s were “demand-side”
                  And conservatives say Reagan’s were “supply-side”
                  But BOTH were across the board! (neither side)

                  Also crazy. Republicans rejected the original Obamacare. He had campaigned as a centrist on health care, and originally had a bipartisan alternative to a public option!!! That would have killed single-payer forever! A PRIVATE option praised by the NY Times and endorse on Daily Kos.

                  When they worked with Kennedy, they got a bill totally opposed by the far-left in Congress and the AFL-CIO.

                  The last backroom deal for Obamacare was the far-left Rockefeller Democrats … because REPUBLICANS forced it there!

                  Now the fuckups have almost lost on single-payer forever. They actually made Obamacare more popular than ever — when they were shown to have no alternative.

          3. So the dot com crash was Clinton’s fault and not the dumbasses giving millions of dollars to anyone who had a pitch and website? lmfao.

            1. Clinton’s damage was much worse and came later. The 2008 crash, as reported by the NY TIMES!

              In 1999 they described how Clinton had pressured Fannie and Freddie to reduce their ;ending standards. He had been badgering lenders to make more subpar loans They refused, citing Fannie and Freddie’s standards.

              This was NEWS not editorial. It concluded that Clinton’s actions could cause a major lender bailout like the 1980s, “in a slow economy,”

        2. There was never a surplus, because the debt never decreased,
          Tribal bullshit. And Trump is already worse than Obama on the debt — while promising even greater debt.

        3. Ahh fuck, you didn’t die in a car accident over your Delaware Thanksgiving.

          Oh well there’s always chance at Hanukkah.

      2. “Of course Boehner continued to moan about deficits as Republicans always do.”

        Republicans only moan about deficits when they’re out of power and don’t get to decide where the spending goes. As soon as they’re in power again, deficits don’t matter because they get to decide where the money is flowing. Then they get voted out, and suddenly the deficits are crucial concerns.

        If a politician is stupid enough to tell you the truth… your taxes are going to go up to pay for this government spending you want… they get punished at the polls at the first opportunity. So politicians go for a different approach. They choose from 1) telling you they’re going to cut taxes, and then… it doesn’t happen. Maybe next year. 2) telling you they’re going to cut taxes, and the deficits go up. 3) Telling you they’re going to increase taxes, but only on OTHER PEOPLE.

    4. To their credit, I honestly believe that Paul Ryan would shove granny down a stairway for $5.

      1. Jack Kemp agreed, I always wondered how Ryan could be considered a student of Kemp.
        Then I read a well-sourced story that Kemp ridiculed him for … FOCUSING ON AUSTERITY NOT GROWTH!!

  4. …as his Republican allies in Congress cut taxes…

    OH MY GOD

    1. Reason will never forgive Trump for the crime of taking less of their money. How dare he do that. What a monster.

      1. Cutting taxes while increasing spending raises the taxes you will (eventually) pay, because you get to pay for what you spent AND interest. Buy now, pay later doesn’t make you richer, which is something that Republicans used to understand.

        1. Um no. You don’t have to pay. We just print more dollars. It’s a beautiful thing.

          1. Sorry, I should have been specific. I was talking about the United States, not Venezuela.

      2. Reason will never forgive Trump for the crime of taking less of their money.

        THE MONEY WAS STOLEN FROM YOUR OWN CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN! … DEBT THEY HAD NO VOICE IN.

        What a monster

        The fucking fraud campaigned on paying off the entire debt in 8 years. Instead, he’s already added more 8-year dent than Obama did! The ONLY President to double the deficit in one year, during a recovery! (inherited from Obama) So now he has 8 years to pay off over $31 trillion. Can he?

        Am I the only one who mourns the death of fiscal conservatism?

        FUCK, JOHN, why not repeal ALL taxes … and keep even more of “our” money?

        1. It doesn’t have to be stolen from anyone’s descendants. They can just vote to default.

          1. It doesn’t have to be stolen from anyone’s descendants. They can just vote to default.

            Q) What kind of pathetic piece of shit steals from his own children and grandchildren … then brags that he drove them, into bankruptcy?

            A) A right-wing entitlement suck. And close to Donald Trump’s business record.

            Just when I thought you people couldn’t possibly sink any lower into the gutter.

  5. Why, oh why, did it take Trump’s election to make the media understand that it was not intended to be the POTUS lap-dog?
    Might it have something to do with a certain bias?

    1. They were never lapdogs for Obama. They just attacked him for different things than Fox and Breirbart did,

      Likewise, conservatives scream “FAKE NEWS” for anything that disagrees with Trump and his puppets. Agree 100% or you’re being treasonous, The left is just as sensitive in their own snowflakery. PC infects both the left and right — which is why they’re both collapsing.

  6. One of my fantasy cures for unbalanced budgets is that every spending bill would have to include its own dedicated revenue source with a yearly budget. Reaching full collection merely stops further collection in that fiscal year. Any shortfall merely stops spending in that fiscal year.

    Forget a balanced budget amendment; they always have exceptions for “emergencies” with no accountability.

    The pitfall is if revenue and spending are seasonal and out of sync; naturally, you have to smooth things out just like any business, which means short-term borrowing, which means predicting future spending, and there you are, right back at accountability.

    1. Have everyone fill out a form with their taxes designating which cabinet departments their tax money can go to fund. If you are a closed borders big defense guy, then desiginate DHS and DOD and nothing else. If you are a give peace love ass sex and pot a chance kind of guy, designate it all for HHS.

      Tally up all of the results, and each cabinet department’s budget is the total of however much various taxpayers designated.

      1. Like a la carte cable. Never gonna happen. For the same reasons.

        1. It wourl result in DOD, DHS and social security being the only things getting more than a few million dollars in funding. Do you know how many important people would end up broke if that happened?

      2. Doesn’t eliminate the bumpy cash flow problem, still requires some kind of line of credit to smooth things out over the fiscal year, which is all the opening bureaucrats would need to bust the budget.

      3. “Tally up all of the results, and each cabinet department’s budget is the total of however much various taxpayers designated.”

        Don’t be surprised when it turns out the IRS gets all the tax revenue.

      4. Have everyone fill out a form with their taxes designating which cabinet departments their tax money can go to fund.

        There’s a little more to Taxpayer Democracy, a libertarian proposal from the 1970s — back when libertarians still made actual policy proposals.

        Here’s one summary I found last year or so. http://libertyissues.com/taxdemoc.htm

      5. Just set an Alternative Maximum Tax — once you pay 10K, you don’t have to pay any more and you don’t have to fill out any details. Just send in the check and sign the form. (It probably has to be 20K right now though, with a 4 trillion dollar budget.)

        If you can’t pay the whole 10K everyone owes, you have to file a tax return to prove your financial hardship.

        1. It would be 15% . Versus an average 8.3% for the core middle class ($40-99k gross)

          You’d have everyone under $100,000` file for financial hardship.
          And DOUBLE the current deficit.
          Any other fantasies?

      6. Geez, I’d have to mark everything for the U.S. patent office. Even though I disagree with some aspects of patent law, at least, constitutionally, Congress has, effectively, carte blanche there. A lot of stuff the DOD and DHS does is just flatly unconstitutional, as are the activities of most other departments and bureaus.

    2. Jefferson predicted it all. Wanted the Constitution to stop one generation from adding debt to a later generation, debt they never voted for.

      All borrowing would have to be repaid within 20 years.

      He also argued for a new Constitutional Convention every 20 years, which says the “living constitution” and “original intent” are both antio-liberty. Her called it “consent of the dead” not of the governed. “Government by force, not by right.”

  7. I was taught in US Govt class that Congress spends the money. But that was a long time ago, so maybe things have changed.

    1. No change. President’s still submit budgets and must sign all spending and revenue bills,.
      Then we have that fraud named Trump, who threatens his power if they don’t INCREASE spending!
      You do know that the Congressional GOP are his lap dogs, eh?
      But you did touch on the real problem. Finger-pointing. Refusing to accept responsibility for the consequences of one’s own actions. Both parties are in late-stage collapse, but no viable alternative has arisen. So we’re governed by a a shrinking minority of loyalists to both parties combined,

  8. It’ll end up like this: if Trump gets funding for the wall, the Dems can have whatever they want. “The Art of the Deal.”

    1. Considering that in the past the Republicans got nothing and the Democrats got everythign they wanted, such a result would make Trump the most successful Republican President since Reagan.

    2. With him, it’s “The Art of the Squeal” — since he’s obviously clueless as a deal-maker.

    3. I agree, the Dems are likely to clean the GOP’s clock, yet again. Like they did repeatedly under Dubya.
      Too bad, Trump sucks as a deal-maker, at a time when they need one.

  9. Lest we forget, Trump has added more new debt, in less than two years, than Obama added in all 8 years. And Obama inherited much worse than Trump did. (Compare Obama total with CBO forecast for 2024)

    Obama inherited the second worst economy since the 1930s — far from the worst as progressives claim (Reagan inherited much worse).

    Trump inherited the longest recovery ever, 7th year, by an incoming President. handed to him by Obama. But he’s the only President to double the deficit in a single year, during a recovery.

    By comparison, Clinton took office in the 22nd month of a recovery and left us with a recession.
    The very worst President on debt,ever, was Dubya. Looting the income tax to pay for Medicare Prescriptions will cause skyrocketing debt forever — now over $300 billion per year and guaranteed to keep increasing sharply., That’s a lot more than Prescriptions, but they needed Democrat votes and gave more than twice what they needed . (GOP got rolled again)

    Left – Right = Zero

    1. Well that’s completely retarded.

      1. You voted for him. NOW you notice that his numbers don’t add up?

        1. Jesse is famous for trash-mouthing while making a public fool of himself!
          Like here,

      2. ” Trump has added more new debt, in less than two years, than Obama added in all 8 years”

        Well that’s completely retarded.

        Yes he is. Which says what about his voters?

  10. Newsflash: Nobody is.

    1. But it was a real big deal until Jan. 20, 2017, wasn’t it.

  11. “Trump Isn’t Serious About Balancing the Budget”

    In other breaking news, water is wet.

  12. Actually, we have two National Socialist parties: one is a little more socialist and the other is a little more nationalist.

  13. There is one thing that distinguishes Social Security and Medicare from true “entitlement” programs, and that is the fact that these programs are set up to be funded at least in part by payments via deductions from employee paychecks. The programs are in trouble due to mismanagement in Washington, beginning at least with the decision to merge the Social Security trust fund with the General Fund in the early days of the Vietnam War (the reason behind LBJ faking the Gulf of Tonkin “incident”). That, and the fact that both are essentially Ponzi schemes, relying on an ever-increasing employment base to cover the cost of the retiring employees. And while all that justifies excoriating the programs and the politicians who gave them to us (beginning with FDR) it does not justify robbing people of the benefits they have been made to pay for throughout their working lives.

    1. The SS trust fund has always been merged with the general fund. There is only one treasury. The system operates exactly the way it always has and the trust fund is worth exactly what it has always been worth. Exactly zero. SS is and has always been a paygo scheme. Benefits are paid out of current revenue or debt. Nothing happened during the Viet Nam war or at any point that changed that.

      1. The SS trust fund has always been merged with the general fund. There is only one treasury.

        Lots of confusion here. The two of you have each expressed one of two competing tribal myths.

        What changed was how he deficit was reported — from general revenues only (like states) to general combined with trust funds, That makes the deficit SEEM smaller to the average citizen, but it’s not. It’s just the same two subtotals combined.

        Nothing happened during the Viet Nam war or at any point that changed that.

        Not when “that” is what you described.

        what it has always been worth. Exactly zero

        That’s the flip side of Curmudgeon’s error.

        It was further screwed up under Dubya, since Medicare deficits are now taken from general revenues,not the Trust Fund. That deficit is now over 40% of all Medicare funding. And the Trust Fund total is actually LESS than a one year current deficit.

  14. Doesn’t matter who’s in office. The debt is beyond anyone’s ability to control. The empire is on the verge of collapse. Stock up on canned food amunition and propane.

  15. Remarkable to get this far down the comments?comments about deficits?without encountering one comment that touches at all on raising revenue. Why is cutting spending the only way to be a deficit hawk?

    1. Given that historically gov’t can only capture 18-22% of GDP, cutting spending really is the most effective way to control debt. I’d prefer a simpler, even revenue neutral plan with dedicated money going to debt reduction.

    2. Most of the commentariat deny that tax cuts add to the debt — if not offset by spending cuts,
      I often wonder who balances their checkbooks! Or elementary school math.

      1. There is still that sweet spot in the Laffer curve where tax cuts “may” increase revenue, but not universally.

        1. It’s never happened. There is no sweet spot,. That;s bulshit from the Wall Street Joiunal.
          Reagan’s tax cuts broke even by 1990, but ALL the increased revenues came from the Capital Gains tax, because the stock market recovered from a 70% loss. The business and personal income tax revenues never recovered. Here is a short summary of Tax Quacks that supports my conclusion.

          Total revenues did skyrocket after the tax cuts … but from six INCREASES in FICA taxes.

          Democrats borrow trillions for free stuff
          Republicans and libertarians borrow trillions for free tax cuts.
          Two competing frauds.

        2. Every tax cut ever passed has increased government tax revenue. The “sweet spot” is most of the curve.

          1. Every tax cut ever passed has increased government tax revenue. The “sweet spot” is most of the curve.

            I linked to official IRS data to prove you’re bat-shit crazy.
            Tell us again about your Alternative Minimum Tax at nearly twice the rate for the entire middle class.

    3. Because the government spends way too much already.

      1. And those fucking Republicans are making it MUCH worse.

        How crazy are they? Well, Trump campaigned on ALL of this
        1) Pay off the entire federal debt in 8 years.
        2) While CUTTING revenues AND increasing spending.
        3) No cuts to Social Security and Medicare
        4) Universal health care for all.

        How ya’ doin’?

    4. Stephen hits on an important point. When Republican candidates will not accept a $10 spending reduction for a $1 dollar tax increase then they are not deficit hawks. What’s more the deficit will not get reduced. We are well past the point where spending reduction alone will reduce the deficit. If we can not compromise then worrying about the deficit is futile. I am old and will do fine. I worry about the young people. We saddle them with debt because we want things now and we are not willing to pay for those things.

  16. And water isn’t dry.

  17. “Trump Isn’t Serious About Balancing the Budget”

    Reason isn’t serious about journalism.

    Actual facts. Trump offered a budget with specific cuts. The Swamp blew it off and porked it up, offering Trump a choice of “sign the bill or we cut off spending”.

    I wish Trump had accepted the cut off. But he was one of few actually fighting against the Uniparty porkfest.

    End of article:
    ” Last year, for example, the Trump administration made specific proposals for cutting food stamps, farm subsidies, and other discretionary programs. Overall, the proposed 2018 budget aimed to reduce federal spending by about 9 percent over 10 years. Overall, the proposed 2018 budget aimed to reduce federal spending by about 9 percent over 10 years.

    The Republican-controlled Congress instead hiked spending by $400 billion. Trump then signed the budget deal.”

    1. Reason isn’t serious about journalism.

      Wait for it ….

      Trump then signed the budget deal

      Proved yourself wrong. And Trump is about to fuck you again.

      WILL HE VETO THE TAX CUTS IN TODAY’S SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT?

      FACTS:
      1) He has already added more new debt than Obama did AFTER 8 years — when he had campaigned on paying it off in 8 years.

      2) First President to EVER double the deficit in a single year, DURING A RECOVERY! (OMG)

      3) Remember, Obama inherited the 2nd worse recession since the 1930s — and handed Trump the longest recovery EVER for an incoming President, TWICE as long as the previous record.

      That makes Trump the absolute worst fiscal failure EVER. Far worse than even Obama!

      Watch closely. Will he veto today’s tax cuts. Or is it another fraud, setup for the sole purpose of him vetoing it to redeem their shameful governance?

  18. Fiscal responsibility is a political loser. Nearly half the population wants a more activist government. Politicians play to the fear of change in any attempt to address entitlements no matter how clear the math.

    Entitlements will be addressed one day after economic disaster and not one second sooner.

    1. Entitlements will be addressed one day after economic disaster and not one second sooner.

      Unless SOMEBODY ever has a viable plan for doing so — instead of whining, pissing and moaning and wringing their hands.

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  20. When you’re doing a worse job than the democrats at balancing the budget you may as well give up the ruse tRump.

    1. Lest we forget, Trump TOTALLY conned his goobers bty saying he’d pay off the debt in 8 years
      AND cut taxes
      AND increase spending
      AND no cuts to entitlements
      AND universal healthcare.

      So far he’s ADDED over $10 trillion the he promises to pay off.
      MORE new debt than Obama AFTER 8 years.
      The first President to EVER double the deficit in one year, in a recovery!

      Craziest of all. His fiscal policies are WORSE than Obama’s
      When Obama started from the 2nd worst recession since the 1930s.
      But Trump inherited (from Obama) the LONGEST recovefy EVER for an incoming President.

      NOW THEY SPRUNG MOAR TAX CUTS TODAY!!!!!

  21. It’s halfway through his term, and I still don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read headlines like this. As if Trump is actually serious about any of this, other than lining his own pockets. This is nothing more than another TV show for him. The media continues to struggle with how to attempt serious journalism, when covering a a grossly under-qualified anomaly who is incapable of a serious representation of the office he occupies. The headline may as well read, “Clown isn’t Serious about Juggling Chainsaws.”

    1. The biggest blockbuster will be how badly Trump has abused his office for purely personal enrichment.
      Just before he’s dragged off to prison.

  22. Until there are 67 Senators (assuming filibusters) and 218 Representatives serious about balancing the budget, it doesn’t matter one damn bit how serious the President is. The President doesn’t pass the budget.

    1. It doesn’t take 67 Senators, They squander their majority, and suck up to Trump shamelessly.

      Hard proof is about to come. Will he veto the surprise tax cuts spring on us today?
      Or — considering that NOBODY anticipated these cuts — are they a con intentionally planned for Trump’s veto, to redeem their worst fiscal record EVER. Worse than even Obama.

      Let;s see,

      1. Tax cuts are irrelevant, either way. We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

        1. ATTENTION GOOBER. THEY ALSO INCREASED SPENDING!

          ttax cuts are irrelevant, either way.

          What are you? Eight years old?.
          I’ll dumb it down. Pay attention to this example

          STARTING: $100 revenue – $120 spending = ($20) deficit.

          $20 TAX CUT: $80 revenue – $120 spending = ($40) deficit

          $40 new deficit – $20 starting deficit = $20 higher deficit

          HERE’S THE HARD PART

          a $20 TAX CUT increases the deficit by THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT (to the penny, if no spending cuts and no other variable)

          What are you? Eight years old?

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