Republicans control all three branches of the Federal Government, so it is time they put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path. Isn’t that what they said they wanted and promised they would do if elected? It is not too much to demand that they keep their campaign promises.
Although there is a lot of good to be said about the Trump budget proposal, it does not actually cut $3.6 trillion in spending over the next ten years. In “Washington rhetoric,” cuts don’t mean what they mean to the rest of America. In Washington, cuts just mean spending less than what had been proposed. A slow down on spending. There will still be increases in spending and deficits will continue to climb, but at a slower pace. Trump’s budget proposes spending increases of 16% from 2016 to 2020, while the baseline assumed a 20% increase.
Despite this, the RINOS, card-carrying Democrats, and Marxists that combine to make up the majority of Congress are squealing that the cuts are too deep, old folks will starve, and children will die. But remember that they always say this, even when they know that the cuts are imaginary. They said the same things in 2010 when Republicans swept into Congressional House majorities on the Tea Party wave. Republicans ran on a promise to cut $100 billion per year from spending. But after they were elected, rather than cut spending, Congress went through an elaborate charade so egregious that it started opening the eyes of true conservatives about how duplicitous Congress is. After months of crowing and speechifying on the chamber floors about all the spending they were about to cut, Congress failed to cut even one penny of Federal spending. Yet the Democrats still squealed like pigs caught in a gate that “children would die from these draconian cuts,” and Paul Ryan was “pushing grandma off the cliff.”
Republicans played along and touted their nonexistent spending cuts as real. Republicans and Democrats both played their roles, and both pretended real change had happened. Democrats pretended to be trying to protect the dependent class, and Republicans pretended to be trying to protect the working man who paid too much in taxes because of too much government spending. The reality was that nothing changed and spending actually increased. No draconian cuts and no dead grandmas.
I described this choreographed political process in a previous article as akin to professional wrestling: fake from beginning to end. So when you hear all the predictable hysterics from politicians and the liberal media that the proposed cuts are too deep and people will die, ignore it. Refuse to buy into their kabuki theater.
Let your Congressman and Senators know that these very modest proposed “cuts” need to be much bigger and that deficit spending must stop on their watch, not at some distant point in the future. To accomplish this, they are going to have to eliminate the many unconstitutional and duplicative agencies, rather than making small cuts to their growth. This proposal would eliminate 66 wasteful Federal Government programs and reduce improper payments, but needs to go much further.
Trump proposed cutting only $9 billion from the Department of Education’s $68 billion annual budget. This cut is especially modest when you consider that there shouldn’t even be a Federal Department of Education. Spending even $59 billion on an agency that is useless as well as unconstitutional is still $59 billion too much.
Another example of a good proposed change that needs to go further is the Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). The Trump budget proposes that we start requiring Social Security numbers from people who collect EITC. This is definitely a step in the right direction because EITC is currently a magnet to illegals who can sneak into our country and collect tens of thousands of dollars through the EITC program. Stopping this is good, but the entire EITC welfare program needs to be scrapped. Even the Federal Government admits that this program is plagued with 25% fraud.
The Trump budget also proposes a 19% increase in Medicaid spending, from 2016 to 2020, rather than the 23% increase that had been proposed earlier in the baseline report. Although the Trump budget increases Medicaid spending from $368 billion to $439 billion during this same period, CNN claimed that he was cutting Medicaid by $800 billion. This is not just misreporting the facts, it is a lie. Medicaid should be cut, but that is not a part of this proposal.
Still the Trump budget, with a few exceptions, is better than anything Congress would propose because Congress is too beholding to too many special interest groups and donors that fund their election campaigns. Their priority is getting re-elected and definitely not the long-term interest of the nation. They have proven this over and over. One of the best ways to refocus Congress on the needs of the nation rather than their own re-election needs is to implement term limits. Imposing term limits on Congress will help to eliminate this conflict of interest that currently exists.
Meanwhile, we can expect most of Trump’s proposed spending increases to be adopted by Congress, while any proposed cuts will be fought tooth and mail. This is why spending continually increases, despite the fact that we are deeper in debt than any other country in the history of the world.
My biggest disappointments with the proposed Trump budget are that it failed to address Social Security and Medicare and even proposed yet a new Federal Government program that looks like something from Hillary or Bernie: six weeks of paid maternity leave. Mulvaney ironically said, “With the U.S., carrying a $20 trillion debt, there is no excuse for continuing to pay for feel-good programs that don’t work.” That’s right, Mulvaney. I wish you had remembered that when you guys proposed yet another new Federal Government welfare program.
Tell Congress no maternity leave and no more Federal Government welfare programs. Tell them to focus on real spending cuts rather than creating more spending programs. Republicans control all three branches of the Federal Government, so it is time they put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path. Isn’t that what they said they wanted and promised they would do if elected? It is not too much to demand that they keep their campaign promises.
Allen Tharp is President of the San Antonio Tea Party.
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