President Trump’s budget proposal for FY2020 sets up a bitter funding fight over controversial issues like military spending, the border wall, and GOP tax cuts.
The proposal, released on Monday, includes significant cuts to environmental programs, transportation, foreign aid, and anti-poverty programs as well as a 5% cut to domestic spending.
“If you want to deal with budget deficits, you’ve got rapid growth, which means keep the tax cuts in place,” explains White House Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow. “We believe the 3% growth rate of 2018 will continue in 2019 and beyond.”
The $4.7 trillion proposal would boost spending on veterans’ healthcare, immigration enforcement, and opioid addiction programs and add a user fee on e-cigarettes.
As expected, the plan includes $8.6 billion for the border wall. The figure, which is far more than the $5.7 billion Trump asked for last time, is based off a plan to construct 722 miles of wall along the US-Mexico border.
Each mile of border wall costs about $25 million. So far, only 111 miles have been built or are under construction.
“The whole issue of the wall and border security is of paramount importance. We have a crisis down there,” says Kudlow. “I think the president has made that case very effectively.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who famously vowed not to grant Trump a single dollar for the border wall, warned the president to expect another shutdown if he continues to demand funding.
“President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get this expensive and ineffective wall,” said Pelosi. “Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again.”
The stakes are even higher this year because the October 1st deadline for the spending deal is also the deadline for lifting the debt limit. Failure to lift the spending caps set in 2011 will trigger dramatic cuts and risk a US government debt default that could damage the global economy.
Democrats have already promised to reject the proposal, which does nothing to address the federal deficit ($900 billion in 2019) or the national debt ($22 trillion).
Editor’s Note: I know for a fact that President Trump is indeed concerned with the deficit, but I suspect that will have to wait for his second term. It is clear that he wants to continue being President and implementing his agenda, but he cannot stage a battle to the death with Democrats just before an election.
We who know about mass influence and propaganda know that reducing costs will not help carry an election. It is not sexy enough, and too many crying voices will oppose it – even though everyone knows it is desperately needed.