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Trump's cruel budget
#1
Basic math, gents..

Quote:Not only does the Trump administration’s budget proposal rely on economic growth assumptions that are wildly more optimistic than those produced by any private sector forecaster, but it turns out that embedded within those assumptions is a completely ridiculous accounting error.
Here’s how it works. The budget is counting on economic growth — and a lot of it — to overcome what otherwise would be a projected $1.3 trillion deficit in 2027 and instead achieve balance. A big part of that growth comes from a deficit-neutral tax proposal whose details aren’t spelled out in the budget document.

That’s a bit odd, because the administration has already sketched out the broad contours of its tax policy. That proposal would, on a conventional account, lead to a massive increase in the deficit. The administration says that’s okay, though, because the extra growth unleashed by the tax cuts will offset the loss in revenue.

See the problem? Trump is not only counting on supply-side magic growth to make his numbers work, he’s using the same magic bean twice. First the tax cuts provide enough extra growth to make the tax reform deficit-neutral. Then the deficit-neutral tax reform provides enough extra growth to make the overall budget balanced. It’s ridiculous. Larry Summers, the former Treasury secretary and National Economic Council director, calls it “a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course.”

Then we get to the double counting. Trump's budget also says the growth-boosting impact of his policies will generate an extra $2.1 trillion in federal revenue, even though some of that growth is supposed to come from tax cuts he already banked on to try to make his tax reform deficit-neutral. The White House doesn’t say exactly how much of that extra growth was supposed to come from tax policy as opposed to other things, but taxes are clearly a centerpiece of Trump’s growth strategy, so let’s call it half and add $1.05 trillion to the $4 trillion to $6 trillion hole the Tax Foundation found. Now rather than a balanced budget you have a $5 trillion to $7 trillion deficit — and that’s under very aggressive supply-side assumptions.
The dumb accounting error at the heart of Trump’s budget - Vox

There is more on the tax cuts here
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#2
And it's pretty bad, even on the most favorable scoring:


Quote:But to be generous to Trump, we might instead consider the tax and growth model from the Tax Foundation, a center-right think tank that is very enthusiastic about the supply-side benefits of tax cuts.

The latest iteration of Trump’s tax plan lacks sufficient detail to be scored, but they did look at his more detailed campaign proposal, which is broadly similar. They are much more enthusiastic than the JCT about this tax plan, seeing it as likely to boost GDP by somewhere around 8.2 percent.

Nonetheless, they believe the campaign plan would add $4 trillion to the deficit rather than be revenue-neutral. Kyle Pomerleau, the TPC’s federal tax policy director, believes the new plan might add something more like $6 trillion to the deficit.
The dumb accounting error at the heart of Trump’s budget - Vox
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#3
And, of course, there is also this..

Quote:But budgets are important as statements of values. One clear headline value of the Trump budget is an overwhelming preference for cutting taxes on high-income families over providing food, medical care, housing assistance, and other support to low-income families. The growth accounting mess shows a parallel value — or, rather, lack of value — placed on the idea of governing with integrity.
The dumb accounting error at the heart of Trump’s budget - Vox

Keeping in mind:

Quote:White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, presented his budget to a gaggle of reporters in Washington. He told them the budget was a reflection of President Donald Trump's values and "speaks to" his "priorities."
White House budget millennials young people - Business Insider
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#4
Millennials are certainly not a priority..


Quote:There are two ways this is expressed in the budget. First, the budget does not address millennials' needs, and, second, it doesn't reflect millennials' values. Over and over again Mulvaney said the administration was going to ensure that the people getting benefits actually need them — but he never really specified how.

For example, the budget calls for massive cuts to the Department of Education that would dramatically affect student-loan programs. Mulvaney framed that by saying the budget would cut funding for students who say they are taking loans to go to school but aren't.

Reid Setzer, the director of government affairs at the millennial advocacy group Young Invincibles, disagreed. "This proposal would place more obstacles in front of students by cutting federal financial aid, on-campus supports, and reducing opportunities to gain skills, thereby making completing a credential that much harder," Setzer said. "The president has claimed he wants to 'take steps to help students' address their student debt, but this budget would do the exact opposite."

Oh, and the budget would eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program — which was enacted by President George W. Bush as a way to encourage students to choose public-service professions like teaching or nonprofit work. The program forgives these workers' loans after 10 years of on-time payments. Trump's budget says the savings will "help put the nation on a more sustainable fiscal path."

Mulvaney explained cuts to Medicaid — which covers healthcare for poorer Americans — by saying the program was more "urban" and should be relegated to the states. Millennials tend to live in urban areas, and even if they're not on Medicaid, this kind of callous thinking will directly affect their communities.

That's where we get into values here. Mulvaney spoke as if he had a handle on what the American people would and would not want to pay for, but it's obvious younger voters were not taken into consideration. For example, he made light of the fact that the National Science Foundation "used your taxpayer money to fund a climate-change musical."

One could very easily (and obviously) surmise that the musical was meant as a form of climate-change education. Millennials overwhelmingly believe in the dangers of climate change (92%). If it takes some singing and dancing to get people to believe that Miami shouldn't be flooded, so be it.

And of course, there's the wall. Only 20% of millennials support Trump's push to build a wall along the US border with Mexico — a wall that eats up $1.6 billion of Trump's proposed budget.
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#5
Campaign promise? What campaign promise.... ?

Quote:The Trump administration's 2018 budget proposal released Tuesday included massive cuts to Medicaid, the government-run health program that provides insurance primarily to pregnant women, single parents, people with disabilities, and seniors with low incomes.

The plan calls for cuts amounting to $627 billion over the next 10 years. That number does not include the roughly $880 billion in proposed cuts to the program through the American Health Care Act, the GOP leadership's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which the administration supports.

Rep. Hal Rogers, the Republican chair of the House Appropriations Committeetold The Washington Post that the proposed Medicaid cuts are a particular problem for his district. "I've got one of the poorest districts in the country, with lots of Medicaid recipients as well as other programs. ... The cuts are draconian," Rogers said.

The proposal also amounts to a reversal from Trump's repeated assertions throughout his presidential campaign that he would not make cuts to social safety-net programs.
Trump budget proposes Medicaid cuts on stunning level - Business Insider
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#6
They keep on coming.. Remember Trump touting "clean" coal during the campaign? Watch what he does, not what he says..

Quote:President Donald Trump promised his administration would bring about “clean coal,” but his budget proposed slashing research the industry says it needs to make that a reality.

The Energy Department has spent more than $200 million a year on research into ways to capture and store the carbon dioxide emitted when coal is burned to make electricity. Under Trump’s proposal released Tuesday that would be cut to $31 million, an 85 percent reduction.

"It’s extremely disappointing," said Brad Crabtree, vice president of fossil energy for the Great Plains Institute, a Minneapolis-based group that studies energy and advocates on behalf of carbon capture. "I think at some point the administration is going to have to decide whether they intend to keep their commitments to ensuring a future for coal."
Trump Dumps 'Clean Coal' Research Despite Lauding Its Potential - Bloomberg
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#7
Quote:Jim Chanos, the short-selling investor who was one of the first to spot the fraud that would become the Enron scandal, called President Trump's infrastructure plan "fake fiscal news" in an interview published Friday. Chanos dismissed the idea that Trump's much-touted infrastructure plan would create economic growth. "That's just another sort of fake fiscal news, if you will. It's going to be public-private partnerships," Chanos told Lynn Parramore of the Institute for New Economic Thinking in an interview..
Investor who spotted Enron fraud: Trump infrastructure plan is 'fake fiscal news' | TheHill
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#8
Quote:Two House conservatives on Monday warned that the government could shut down if a spending bill does not include money to fund President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, even said he believed that Trump would veto a spending measure that did not include money for the wall.

“My conversations with the president have led me to believe that there is nothing less than a full and total commitment on his part to only sign into law a funding bill that actually allows for us to start construction of a border wall on our southern border,” Meadows told Breitbart News. He said there was “nothing more critical that has to be funded than funding the border wall.”
Trump wall moves to center of shutdown fight | TheHill

"Nothing more critical that has to be funded" than an expensive and pretty useless wall? The budget guts a whole raft of institutions that keep us safe.
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#9
This is what you call a triple whammy..

Quote:During a CNN interview Wednesday morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said he’d like to slash food assistance for low-income Americans and Planned Parenthood funding to free up money for President Trump’s border wall.

King was responding to a question from CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about whether he’s “comfortable with providing $1.6 billion of taxpayer money — not from Mexico — to bill that wall?” On Tuesday, House Republicans signaled they may force a government shutdown unless Democrats agree to spend that amount on a physical border wall in the 2018 budget.
House Republican pushes cuts for food stamps to pay for Trump’s border wall
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#10
Quote:A House push to separate air traffic control from the federal government would add $20.7 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The analysis, known as a score, could add a new wrinkle to the spinoff effort. Supporters are actively working to secure votes for the plan as House leaders prepare to bring the bill to the floor in the coming weeks.
Analysis: Air traffic control plan would add $20B to deficit | TheHill

Quote:The House subcommittee controlling the purse strings of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Wednesday proposed a $1.1 billion boost for the agency, defying the Trump administration's push for cuts. The White House had proposed slashing the nation’s medical research agency by $5.8 billion. But it was clear from the get-go that Congress wouldn’t support cutting NIH’s budget, with members of both parties in opposition.
Lawmakers propose $1.1B boost to NIH, defying Trump budget | TheHill
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