The Trump budget was today, so here are the three most important things that you need to know when examining the new president’s budget.
1). The Trump Budget Is A Meaningless Pile Of Paper
Lots of stories are being written about Trump budget from less reputable websites and blogs that treat the numbers in Donald Trump’s budget as things that are going to happen for click bait. The truth is that the president has no budgetary power. Congress makes the budget.
Article I, Sec. 7 of the US Constitution states, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” Article I, Sec. 9 of the US Constitution gives Congress the power to spend, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”
Trump’s budget is a legally non-binding Christmas list of things that he would like to see happen.
The president’s budget is an outline for a discussion. The odds of Trump’s budget being passed as is are zero.
History tells us that Congress will come to a budget agreement, and it will look nothing like Trump’s budget.
2). The Trump Budget Isn’t A Budget
Donald Trump’s “skinny budget” is so thin because it is an outline, not a real budget. The Trump budget is short because it ignores two-thirds of government spending.
According to The Center For Budget And Policy Priorities, “The Trump budget includes only estimates for fiscal 2018 and only for its proposed changes to discretionary programs (those funded through the annual appropriations process) — even though discretionary programs make up less than one-third of the federal budget. The Trump budget omits any figures on entitlement or mandatory spending (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, federal retirement, or SNAP), interest payments, revenues, or deficits.”
The Trump budget doesn’t cover what government spends most of the taxpayers’ money on. It doesn’t disclose any real fiscal plan of how the administration intends to make the numbers work. It is a campaign promise laundry list, not a budget plan for the US government.
3). A President’s Budget Is A Statement Of Priorities, Not Law
President Trump’s budget is a demonstration of what matters to the administration, and what matters to this president is getting rid of government programs that help people, gutting science, public education, while boosting military spending and charter schools. The Trump budget cuts funding for road projects, even though the President claims he that he wants to rebuild American infrastructure, and cuts funding for disease prevention.
Trump’s budget suggests that he is a president who is enamored with an outward projection of military strength, and he wants to hollow out the nation’s domestic programs to look tough in front of the rest of the world.
The budget confirmed that one should always ignore Trump’s words and watch his deeds because this president has dangerous priorities for the country.