Trump's Budget Is 50 Percent Magical Thinking, 50 Percent Bullsh*t
All budgets are bullshit, but some budgets are more bullshit than others. Donald Trump's new budget proposal falls squarely into the "more bullshit" category, projecting preposterous levels of future growth to justify ever-greater military spending, while simultaneously slashing the social safety net.
It was just two days ago Trump was scream-tweeting about protecting Medicare and Social Security.
But in reality, he's proposing to cut Medicare prescription drug spending by $130 billion. And that's before he gets to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
On the plus side, absolutely none of this shit is getting through the Republican Senate, much less Miss Nancy's House. On the minus side, DEMOCRATS ARE BUSY PURITY PONYING OURSELVES TO DEATH OVER WHOSE DEAD-ON-ARRIVAL HEALTHCARE PLAN IS THE BEST AND NOT MAKING HAY OUT OF THIS POLITICAL GIFT FFS YOU PEOPLE WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
Okay, since we know budget is not sexxxxxy, let's bang this one out Top Five Style so we can all go back to fighting about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Number 1: Trump Growth Forecasts Are LITERALLY Fake News
Trump's 2020 budget proposal projects the US economy will grow by 2.8 percent this year, then by 3 percent or more during each the next 15 years if only we'll let them gut the social safety net and allow rich people to pay no taxes. Except oopsie poopsie, the Congressional Budget Office anticipates growth of 2.2 percent this year, and 1.7 percent between 2021 and 2030.
And, oh, by the way, the Trump administration's growth projections for the past three years were also drastically off. So, who ya gonna believe, Steve Mnuchin or the CBO?
Number 2: Serial Bankrupt Casino Owner Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburger Today
Trump "needs" to tell those amazing whoppers about economic growth because they allow him to drastically discount how far into the red his budget will put us every year (AKA the deficit) and how much our kids and grandkids will have to pay off eventually (AKA the national debt).
After campaigning on a promise to balance the budget and eliminate the national debt in eight years, Trump has instead increased it by a trillion dollars in every year of his presidency. So close! But now he'd like you to trust him when he pinky swears that this time he's telling the truth that the deficit will fall from over a trillion this year to $966 billion next year, and will be eliminated entirely by 2035.
Sure the CBO projects the deficit to average $1.3 trillion through 2030. But again, are you gonna take the word of a bunch of scrawnyass pencil pushers over a guy who went broke running a warehouse full of change machines that take in quarters and give back nickels? NFW, amirite?
Number 3: As Long As We're Putting It All On The Credit Card ... Let's Just Pretend That The Introductory Rate Lasts Forever, Cool?
Right now, if you're looking to lend money (AKA buy bonds), the American government looks like the safest bet around. So we don't have to pay a massive interest rate, both because lenders look at the US government and assume the risk of default is low and because Trump has sufficiently browbeaten the Federal Reserve into keeping interest rates low to stimulate the economy. Trump's budget pretends that both these situations will last forever, and thus we'll be able to finance our debt cheaply for all eternity.
The New York Times 'splains it thusly:
Robust economic growth rates are not the only area where the administration's renewed optimism appears in its latest budget. It has also revised down its estimate of the interest the federal government would pay to borrow money over the next decade, based largely on the assumption that the Fed, which began cutting rates in 2019, would raise them only modestly again over the next 10 years. The changes in rate assumptions reduce budget deficits by $1.5 trillion over the course of the decade, according to the administration's projections.
Essentially, administration officials are contending that rising levels of debt in the United States will not drive up borrowing costs, as many conservative economists have long warned, at least for the next several years. They also believe, a rarity among economists, that a sustained stretch of 3 percent growth would not push the Fed to raise interest rates.
As a result, the administration sees federal debt held by the public — the national debt, essentially — declining from 79 percent of the overall economy this year to 66 percent in 2030. The budget office sees it rising, to 98 percent, a level not reached since 1946.
In plain Englilsh, they're saying, "Please believe us that we're going to chip away at the national debt, instead of causing it to balloon astronomically like the CBO projects. Then we can pretend that our borrowing costs will go down, instead of up. And while you're doing all that magical thinking, please accept that we can grow the economy forever and keep the Fed from raising rates as they have in the past. Mmmmkay?"
Number 4: So What Does He Want to Spend That Pretend Windfall On?
Oh, like you have to ask! He wants a 23 percent increase for the ICE stormtroopers, 7 percent more for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a 3 percent rise for Homeland Security, and a 13 percent bump for Veterans Affairs.
And Number 5: How Can He Screw the American People Hardest?
All the ways! Cut EPA by 26 percent. Murder Big Bird by zeroing out the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Slash Health and Human Services by 9 percent. Cut HUD by 15 percent. Cut the CDC by 9 percent. Teach the children a lesson by slashing education spending by 8 percent. Plus wring several hundred million dollars more out of Medicare and Medicaid, including by mandating a nationwide work requirement.
People. Will. Die. From This.
And the Oscar for shamelessness goes to ...
Truly, these people are unspeakable filth. So maybe we could stop fighting EACH OTHER and take aim at them for a hot second? Because there isn't a Democrat in the field who would try to foist this kind of destruction on the American people.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.