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Of course it'll suck. But just think of all the art it'll inspire over the next 20 years


Much like Steve King's balls-out racist Tweet, it's not like we didn't know this was coming, because they told us it was, but there's still a jolt of shock and revulsion at the imminent arrival of Donald Trump's official budget proposal. It's every bit as awful as promised, and if enacted (a very big if) would be the biggest all-at-once contraction of the federal workforce since the end of WWII, slashing government agencies and throwing huge numbers of federal employees out of work. Not to worry, though, because the private sector will expand so rapidly when it's freed from regulatory and tax burdens that everyone will have a job building tanks. Or at least anyone who's out of work can join the Army, the Border Patrol, or the staff of a private prison for detaining immigrants, although those last will be closed once they're all deported. We haven't even considered the wealth to be generated by bounties from turning in the Messican family down the street or anyone suspected of disloyalty to the Trump regime.

Initially, some of the biggest economic hits would come in Washington DC, exactly where they should:

According to an economic analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, the reductions outlined so far by Trump’s advisers would reduce employment in the region by 1.8 percent and personal income by 3.5 percent, and lower home prices by 1.9 percent.

Just think how great the Trump family will do when there's a housing crash! If we're lucky, the sudden cutback in federal spending will crash the whole economy, because there are few things better for Trump than a nice recession: As he's said, "I've always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.”

It's going to be fantastic -- as everyone knows, when you slash government spending, the economy booms, except in countries where austerity was followed by a downward economic spiral, which would be, say, most of Europe:

But that won't happen here, because American Exceptionalism and also magic. As we've noted before, the Trump plan will involve a huge increase in military spending combined with the goal of leaving Social Security and Medicare untouched (although Paul Ryan has some fun ideas about that), along with a huge tax cut for the wealthy, which will really truly produce jobs this time, unlike all the other times taxes were cut. After those entitlements and payments on the debt are accounted for (Trump isn't yet talking about defaulting on that, though he loves the idea), what's left is "discretionary spending," which is everything else the government does, from military spending to the other stuff, like the EPA, NASA, State Department, and so on. We already know the military has to be embiggened, because it just does -- it's one of those "we have no choice" choices that Trump insists we have no choice on. So everything else has to go:

“Unfortunately, we have no alternative but to reinvest in our military and make ourselves a military power once again,” National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“If you’re doing that in an area where you have to balance the budget and you cannot create a further deficit, you have to make cuts. It’s no different than every other family in America that has to make the tough decisions when they need to spend money somewhere, they have to cut it from somewhere else.”

Why, yes, there's that good old metaphor about family budgets, where if you buy a new destroyer for your family, you have to cut your family's spending on education and housing, not to mention letting some of your kids go hungry for the good of all. Also, to stimulate economic activity in your family, you need to vastly reduce your income and maybe drive without seatbelts, because regulations are bad. It's almost as if governments and individual families operate on very different principles. Also, please ignore studies showing that military spending creates far fewer jobs than spending on education.

Now, simply because Trump will introduce this Budget for a New Hellscape, that doesn't mean it will actually pass, because even Congressional Republicans like to be reelected, and a budget that's designed to trigger a recession may turn out to be unpopular for some reason. But there's always room to turn the screws on the useless poors just a little more; while the final numbers aren't yet in, Trump staffers are recommending a 14 percent budget cut for Housing and Urban Development, which should encourage the poors to stop wasting so much money on iPhones, color TVs, and having a roof over their heads:

That is a change that Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin said could “put nearly 8 million Americans in both inner-city and suburban communities at risk of losing their public housing and nearly 4 million at risk of losing their rental subsidy.”

Joining poor folks on the streets will be a bunch of useless scientists and staff at the EPA, which will see a 20 percent cut, because the environment will be fine by itself and global warming is a myth.

In addition, when millions of people are thrown off their health insurance, we can look forward to rural hospitals closing, so there's a lot more doctors, nurses, and support staff who won't be a drain on the economy any more -- they can probably join the army if they want.

Oh, but let's also consider long-term effects! Matthew Slaughter, Dean of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business and a former economic advisor to George W. Bush, says the enormous savings will also rescue us from the threat of too much success in the future, in areas like "health research, transportation projects and training programs":

“Imagine his plan got enacted,” Slaughter said. “It wouldn’t trigger some crisis, but what’s subtle is relative to what America could be in the next several years in terms of making more substantial investments in infrastructure, science research, and public investments that we have historically made.”

Ah, but Trump's head of the Office of Management and Budget has an easy cliche to counter these ridiculous claims that America "needs" education and science and useless crap: On Hugh Hewitt's radio show last week, he explained, “We don’t solve problems by simply throwing money at them,” which is terrific advice. Which is why we need to throw so much money at the military and immigration enforcement, because then every other problem in the country will just have to get solved without any money. Again, nothing to worry about: The Trump plan is going to create so much prosperity that we'll all be insanely wealthy, especially those of us who are merely fabulously wealthy now.

For everyone else, of course, the Trump budget's answer is "join the Army."

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[WaPo / Economicshelp.org / Time / Atlantic]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Guys! Gals! Non-binaries! Have you gotten around to reading Julia Ioffe's new profile of Donald Trump Jr. in GQ? We have, and it is delicious. Read it for the art alone, which you will have to click over to see for yourself, because we don't want to steal the thunder of this one chap Nigel Buchanan, who drew the most HILARIOUS picture of Dipshit curled up in a ball literally in his dad's shadow. But also read it for the hilarious anecdotes Ioffe tells, of how Junior is a really sucky person whose father doesn't love him! We already kinda knew Daddy has never loved him all that much -- hell, just follow Ashley Feinberg on Twitter, as she chronicles the social media evidence of that each and every day. And we already know he sucks really hard -- like did you hear about how everybody called him Diaper Don in college because of how much he peed on himself all the time, ALLEGEDLY?

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