If he’s victorious in his 2020 reelection effort and wins a second term in office, President Donald Trump is looking to make massive spending cuts to the federal budget, including the complete elimination of some agencies, according to the Washington Post:
President Trump has instructed aides to prepare for sweeping budget cuts if he wins a second term in the White House, five people briefed on the discussions said, a move that would dramatically reverse the big-spending approach he adopted during his first 30 months in office.
Such an approach would be a reversal of what Trump has done during his first three years in office. He has already ballooned the federal deficit over $5 trillion (due in large part to the massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations he and the then-GOP controlled Congress passed in 2017), and is on pace to add over $9 trillion to the debt if he serves a second term.
The apparent contradiction between what Trump says and does has even left congressional Republicans frustrated, the Post notes:
Even some Republicans appear exasperated over the differing views.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters that Mnuchin has been the “voice of reason” inside the White House and that Trump would benefit from focusing on the treasury secretary’s advice.
“I think he should listen to the secretary,” Shelby said, speaking of Trump.
And while Trump is saying he wants big cuts if he’s given a second term in office by voters, he hasn’t told top White House aides where he wants the budget ax to fall, or what programs might be off the table:
Muddying matters further, Trump has not instructed aides as to how sweeping he wants future budget cuts in his second term to be. For example, he has not told aides whether he will be open to significant cuts to Medicare, one of the government’s costliest programs. Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that he wouldn’t cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. He abandoned that pledge for Medicaid but has largely held to his commitment not to reduce Medicare and Social Security benefits, despite pressure from some advisers.
Reduced revenues as a result of the tax cut are also hindering efforts to balance the budget, a longtime dream of fiscal conservatives:
Particularly troubling to budget experts is the steep drop in taxes paid by businesses under the law, which lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The year before the tax law, the United States collected about $285 billion from corporate taxes — a number that dropped by more than 30 percent last year, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonpartisan organization.
Perhaps voters who put Trump in office should have expected a fiscal mess from this president. After all, he’s the same Donald Trump who filed for bankruptcy on multiple occasions and owned casinos that lost millions of dollars even though casinos are guaranteed money makers.
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