Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Won't Even Pretend to Care About Debt: New at Reason

The era of big government is far from over.

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Presidential budgets are usually declared dead soon after their release. But Donald Trump's budget for FY2019, Veronique de Rugy writes, was dead before it even arrived. It was doomed by the horrendous budget deal that was made by congressional Republicans and Democrats—and then signed by Mr. Trump himself. Even still, the budget is yet another sign of how little this administration cares about maintaining the barest pretense of fiscal responsibility.

Last week's budget deal made the numbers proposed in his administration's budget instantly obsolete. For one thing, the administration just signed a budget agreement that busted the non-defense budget caps and increased funding for this category by more than 10 percent.

Second, the administration would concentrate the $1.5 trillion over ten years exclusively on the nondefense side if the budget, while defense spending would grow by $800 billion over that same period of time. Even if the administration was serious about fiscal restraint, this imbalance would make the cuts politically impossible.

Just because the administration's budget outlines some potential ways to cut spending, one shouldn't actually believe that spending is going to go down. It won't.


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