Fiscally conservative critics of President Trump were shocked today as his first budget was announced. Trump’s budget office director, Mick Mulvaney unveiled a budget today that would cut $3.6 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. The only thing standing in the way of this libertarian budget is Congress.
The Trump proposal may be too ambitious to be palatable for Congress. In spite of the Congress being dominated by Republican lawmakers, they have been reticent to making even the slightest of cuts to future government spending for many years. The GOP-dominated Congress even approved all of the Obama administration’s record spending. It remains doubtful that the legislature will approve Trump’s budget considering it would cut spending in areas that are still very popular to the electorate.
Trump’s budget would cut at least $610 billion from Medicaid and more than $192 billion from food stamps over a decade, according to a Reuters report. Factoring in projected revenue increases, the budget would be balanced in 10 years as well. Trump’s Democrat enemies are already firing off the usual talking points against fiscal responsibility.
“The Trump foreign policy sidelines diplomacy and development; threatening American leadership, risking American lives and ceding ground to Russia, China, or whoever else wants to fill the void,” Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) said in opposition to Trump’s proposed cuts of 32 percent to the State Department.
“This is a step down the same road to ruin advanced by years of Republican budgets,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.
Mulvaney is undeterred by critics of the budget, and stands by it amidst the criticism. “You have to have compassion for folks who are receiving the federal funds, but also you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it,” he said.
Fiscal responsibility may not be around the corner, but the Trump budget is definitely a step in the right direction. Even if it is not ultimately approved by the Congress, it shows what needs to be done to put the country on the right track. It will also put the blame squarely on the shoulders of a Congress that is already reviled by the American public at historic levels when economic calamity finally strikes.