Tag Archives: government spending

Trump's budget: Radical change or more of the same?

Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

"President Donald Trump's proposed budget has generated hysteria among the American left. Prominent progressives have accused the president and his allies of wanting to kill children, senior citizens, and other vulnerable Americans. The reaction of the president’s allies — including some conservatives who should know better — is equally detached from reality as they hail Trump for launching a major assault on the welfare state and making the hard choices necessary to balance the budget. President Trump’s budget does eliminate some unnecessary and unconstitutional programs such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. However, it largely leaves the welfare-warfare state intact." (06/05/17)


Trump's Democratic budget

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

"Donald Trump has now submitted his proposed federal budget to Congress for fiscal year 2018. Unlike Barack Obama’s last six budgets, which were an exercise in futility since the Republicans controlled either the House or the House and Senate for the last six years he was in office, Trump’s budget has a chance of actually being adopted by the Republican-controlled Congress. Let’s hope not." (06/02/17)


Democrats weigh using debt ceiling debate to thwart GOP tax cuts

Source: Bloomberg

"Congressional Democrats might abandon their calls for raising the nation’s debt limit without any conditions, with House and Senate party leaders now discussing whether to use their leverage to try to prevent Republicans from enacting tax cuts for wealthy Americans. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled the shift Friday, telling reporters that 'we’re not there to raise the debt ceiling to throw a few crumbs to the middle class' and provide big cuts for the wealthy. It’s unclear how this would work in practice, but Democratic aides in both chambers said they are discussing possible strategies to tie the debt ceiling to blocking tax cuts. Such an approach would be a significant change for Democrats, who have spent the past eight years arguing that debt ceiling increases should be free from conditions, and could further complicate efforts to raise the government’s borrowing authority when the current limit is reached later this year." [editor's note: Whatever the motive, anything that gets in the way of a debt ceiling increase is good news – TLK] (06/03/17)


Trump's budget is a special kind of stupid

Source: Niskanen Center
by Karl Smith

That President Donald Trump’s budget is problematic is something that most economists agree with. There are, however, some prominent voices of dissent. George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen, for example, suggests that the budget is not as problematic as you might think. According to Cowen, 'the spending cuts are probably not needed. It would suffice to cut taxes only, and allow the economy to grow out of an even-greater budget deficit.' … To properly make the comparison between growth rates and borrowing rates, we need to adjust for inflation in the same way. Cowen’s argument arguably holds if we measure borrowing rates in nominal terms. Trump budget projections, however, are about real economic growth rates — which means that we should be comparing them to real borrowing rates." (05/30/17)


Fiscal conservatism is dead — on both sides of the pond

Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

The launches of the Conservative manifesto and Donald Trump’s first budget could not have been more different in tone. Theresa May’s offering was cautious, with minor tweaks to policy to reflect concerns about intergenerational fairness. The Donald, on the other hand, is promising a revolution, slashing a host of government programmes to protect old-age entitlements and expand the military, while also cutting taxes. But one trend unites both the Republican President and the Tory leader: conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic seem much less concerned with budget deficits than they were seven years ago." [editor's note: Seven years ago? The last time American conservatives even PRETENDED to want to balance the federal budget was in the 1990s. And yes, they were just pretending even then – TLK] (05/29/17)


As Trump weighs more troops in Afghanistan, some in Congress seek to freeze his funding

Source: Military Times

"As the Trump administration contemplates sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a bipartisan group in Congress has demanded a floor debate on the war's endgame and whether it remains in America's interest to remain engaged there militarily. On the eve of NATO's highly anticipated summit in Brussels, Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Democrat John Garamendi of California will greet the media in Washington on Wednesday to explain their proposed legislation seeking to halt, with few exceptions, any further financing for U.S. activities in Afghanistan." (05/24/17)


The return of the naive supply-sider

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

President Donald J. Trump has produced a very silly budget proposal. Thankfully, presidential budget proposals have all the effect of a mouse passing gas in a hurricane — Congress, not the president, actually appropriates funds and writes the tax code. Presidential budget proposals are not received as actual fiscal blueprints but as statements of priorities, and so we must conclude that President Trump’s top priority is refusing to deal with reality." (05/24/17)


Trump's budget is the ultimate con

Source: The Atlantic
by Derek Thompson

"In the biggest picture, the Trump budget is a multi-trillion-dollar transfer of post-tax income from the poor and sick to the richest 1 percent. This not only explicitly reverses many of the president’s campaign promises. Even stranger, it represents an extraordinarily unpopular vision for government by a president who is obsessed with demonstrating his own popularity." (05/22/17)


Poor Greece, the fat lady ain't singing yet

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

"As with the opera not being over until the Fat Lady has sung about her youth, beauty and slenderness the Greek debt saga is not going to end until the one important decision is taken — how much debt should Greece repay? We've been making this point for a number of years now in a number of venues. There is just this one question that must be answered …" (05/22/17)


A big fat freak-out over Donald Trump's "skinny budget"

Source: Reason
by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Presidential budgets have all the legal force of a letter to Santa — they're essentially the White House asking Congress for a pony. The 'skinny' blueprint released by the Office of Management and Budget in March is the result of even less consultation and collaboration than usual with the legislators who hold actual budget-making power, which makes wish fulfillment even more unlikely. Nevertheless, when President Donald Trump announced $54 billion in cuts to several federal agencies, the press immediately got to work on its own form of slash fiction, fetishizing the appropriations status quo and moaning over any possibility of budgetary restraint." (for publication 06/17)