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What They’re Saying: President Trump’s Unserious, Irresponsible Budget

This week, the Trump Administration released another irresponsible, unserious budget that doubles down on exploding the deficit and giving tax cuts to the wealthy while cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and investments in our nation’s future. It has been swiftly dismissed as dead on arrival. Here’s a look at what the President’s own party, editorial boards, and the press are saying about the President’s irresponsible budget:

The reception among Republicans has been lukewarm:

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL): “Most of the president’s budgets, and I have been here a while, are mainly suggestions…You know, we look at them. But I don’t know any of them that have been enacted into law.” [Washington Examiner, 3/11/19]

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): “In all the years I’ve been here, there has never been a president’s budget that has passed as submitted, and I don’t think this will be any different.” [Washington Examiner, 3/11/19]

Editorial boards are dismissing the budget proposal:

Washington Post: Even by Trump’s standards, this year’s budget stands out for dishonesty  

“The best that can be said for President Trump’s $4.75 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2020 is that it has no chance of becoming law. This is almost always true of presidential budgets, because ultimately Congress does the nitty-gritty work on spending legislation. Even by the standards of previous nonstarter White House blueprints, however, Mr. Trump’s effort this year stands out for dishonesty and warped priorities… There’s more: cuts to refugee assistance while asking $8.6 billion for a border wall… you get the picture.”

USA Today: Deficits don't matter in Donald Trump's budget  

Amid all of the outrages of the Trump administration and Congress, the fact that the federal budget deficit has surged by 77 percent above the same period last year somehow got lost…Which is another way of saying our goose is cooked. The growing red ink in the federal government can, and will, erode the economic advantages the United States has from its entrepreneurial culture and rule of law... The tax cuts not only made matters worse, they also have triggered a kind of arms race in irresponsibility… For the past 30 years Democrats have been more responsible — or perhaps less irresponsible — than Republicans on budgetary matters. The last time the budget was balanced was during the administration of President Bill Clinton.”

LA Times: Trump’s budget priorities are, unsurprisingly, disheartening  

“The budget is a major statement about presidential priorities, and Trump’s are disheartening…To partially offset the tax cuts and military spending increases, the budget proposes to take a chainsaw to a number of federal benefit programs, including food stamps, state welfare block grants, disability benefits and the earned income tax credit. On Medicaid and several other healthcare-related programs, the administration seeks to save money not by bringing down the cost of care, but by making it available to fewer people. All these cuts would disproportionately affect poor people.”

Mass Live: Trump’s budget plan a meaningless document  

“Trump's budget blueprint -- which includes billions of taxpayer dollars for his vanity wall on our nation's southern border, steep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, education and the Environmental Protection Agency, to name but a few --- is deader than most spending proposals that come out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”  

San Francisco Chronicle: The good news about Trump’s budget  

“Trump is plowing ahead as if the past two years never happened, a questionable strategy exemplified by his request for $8.6 billion to build more than 700 miles of the border wall that Congress has repeatedly rebuffed. Trump was so frustrated in his efforts to spend considerably less than that on the southern border that he forced an unprecedented 35-day federal shutdown and declared a false national emergency…Trump’s unbalanced budget certainly serves as a useful and troubling statement of his values. Fortunately, it won’t serve as the budget.”

Baltimore Sun: Trump 2020 budget doesn't add up  

“It should come as no surprise that the $4.7 trillion spending plan released Monday by the Office of Management and Budget is a mess… And that’s not even mentioning that there is, of course, an extra $8.6 billion to build a wall along the nation’s southern border, a project that Congress just weeks ago voted to dial down in favor of a more rational approach to border security… In short, this is not a serious budget by a serious administration. This is a political document and, as has become commonplace with this administration, it is mostly a signal to far-right conservatives that Mr. Trump stands by their priorities — tax cuts that skew toward the wealthy and spending cuts that skew toward the 99 percent…That the budget does so little about debt that now totals more than $22 trillion is just another indicator that Republicans have largely abandoned the old ‘fiscal restraint’ mantra that served them so well when there was a Democrat in the White House.”

The New London Day (CT): Sinking the nation ever deeper into debt  

“The president’s fiscal-year 2020 budget proposes record high outlays of $4.75 trillion in 2020, a 4.8 percent increase following about a 10 percent increase this year. The budget projects taking in $3.65 trillion in taxes…Failing to slow debt growth will depress economic expansion and wages and drive up interest rates. It is a disservice to future generations…Republicans, when in full control of Congress during Trump’s first two years, ignored the deficit after having hounded Obama about it for eight years. They passed a massive tax cut targeted at the rich without any corresponding spending reductions.”

Las Vegas Review Journal: The Trump budget and federal spending restraint  

“The Trump administration unveiled its fiscal 2020 budget proposal this week, but it will never become law. It is useful, however, as a snapshot of White House priorities. The vocal critics of President Donald Trump wasted little time chortling about the projected deficits and rising debt this spending plan would require, particularly given the president has bragged in the past about his commitment to balancing the budget. The criticism has merit. Mr. Trump has abandoned all pretense.”

And the news coverage has highlighted how the budget is dead on arrival:

USA TODAYDead on arrival? Trump's 2020 budget an unlikely wish list in divided Congress  

“President Donald Trump called for deep cuts in environmental and safety net programs, billions more for his border wall and a huge boost for the military in a $4.75 trillion proposed 2020 budget that is unlikely to gain any traction in Congress.”

Trump has proposed many of those same changes before, without much success. Last year’s budget, which came at a time when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate, included $18 billion for the border wall. His 2017 budget proposed eliminating 62 federal agencies entirely. Congress largely ignored those requests, and many others… That partly reflects a politically divided Congress but also the fact that the president's nonbinding budget has always been viewed mostly as a wish list.”


But even Republicans remained noncommittal about the White House proposals.”

US NewsTrump Budget Going Nowhere on Capitol Hill  
“…The 2020 plan is being treated by Capitol Hill as a presidential campaign rally speech: designed to appeal to the president's base and having no chance of actually getting enacted.”

“Trump's budget, late this year because of the record 35-day partial government shutdown, seeks to get a project that was Trump's signature promise in his campaign – a southern border wall… The plan is going nowhere on Capitol Hill.”

“Missing from the budget blueprint is a path to reduce the nations crippling, record $22 trillion debt and the federal budget deficit, which was up 77 percent in January from a year previous.”

Washington PostTrump proposes $4.7 trillion budget with domestic cuts, $8.6 billion in new funding for border wall  
Trump’s GOP allies received the budget plan with a lukewarm embrace…”

“…According to Trump’s budget, the spending cuts would do little to reduce what is shaping up to be a colossal deficit in the next several years. The budget would spend much more money than it brings in through revenue, and that gap is called the deficit.”

PoliticoTrump’s budget proposal sets up another shutdown battle  
“President Donald Trump sent his annual budget vision to Congress on Monday, starting a new battle over how to fund the government that sets up the nation for an even more destructive shutdown when money runs out later this year.”

“The president’s plan seeks deep cuts from agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. At the same time it would spend $8.6 billion on a border wall with Mexico and boost defense spending to $750 billion… Calling for a total of $2.7 trillion in reductions over 10 years, the Trump administration is also taking aim at safety net programs, including hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare and a request to drum up savings by imposing new restrictions on food stamps, housing assistance and aid to families that don’t make enough money to provide for their children.”

CNNTrump 2020 budget projects big deficits despite spending cuts  

President Donald Trump delivered a 2020 budget to the Democratic-controlled House on Monday that cuts spending across the board yet still isn't projected to balance for 15 years, even with ambitious economic growth forecasts.”

Click here to read the PDF. 

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