Federal budget an economic disaster, overvalues aspects that do not need attention

An increased deficit, frivolous military spending and failure to address fate of Dreamers are just three examples of why this budget won't work

· Feb 21, 2018 Tweet

Jared Skarda (flickr)

Many supporters of President Donald Trump argued he would bring endless business knowledge to D.C. and run the White House like he ran Trump Tower. Unfortunately, they were very wrong. After passing devastating tax cuts to benefit the rich and large corporations, many realized Trump’s policies simply favor himself and his business, leaving the rest of the U.S. population forgotten.

Confirming this, Trump recently sent Congress a highly problematic $4.4 trillion budget that increases spending by 10 percent from 2017, despite losses in revenue from the tax cuts, which will add $7 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. This is anything but smart business and it will inevitably hurt the American middle class, worsen poverty conditions and send the U.S. debt skywards.

The first problem with this budget revolves around how horribly it could damage the ever-growing deficit. Republicans have harped for years that they need to reduce the national deficit, yet they have no problem cutting taxes for the rich and fruitlessly spending money on areas that simply do not need increased funding, such as the military. Just a few weeks ago, during the second government shutdown of Trump’s tenure, Congress barely passed yet another short-term spending bill that sets out a broad budget that will add an estimated $320 billion addition to the federal budget deficit.

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Not only did they fail to meet the deadline and force the government to shutdown, the bill failed to acknowledge the fate of the nearly 800,000 Dreamers, which has been up in the air since the Trump administration rescinded it last September.

Worse yet, Trump’s proposal will hit the poorest Americans, as it will slash billions of dollars from food stamps, public health insurance and federal housing vouchers. It is incredibly ironic and blatantly cruel that Republicans must cut funding from essential programs to make up for tax cuts that go directly into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy. Basically, Republicans are giving handouts to the rich while ripping food stamps out of the hands of the poor.

An almost laughable part of Trump’s proposal is his request for funding for the infamous Mexican border wall. During his campaign, almost every serious politician thought he must be joking, but now that he’s a year into his presidency we all have realized unfortunately he was not. Possibly the biggest waste of U.S. tax dollars ever, the wall will do almost nothing to stop illegal immigrants while making the U.S. a laughing-stock to the rest of the world.

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Lastly, Trump’s budget will unnecessarily increase military spending by more than $74 billion, a 10 percent increase over current spending levels. This would be understandable if there was an immediate threat or we were unprepared compared to other countries. But the U.S. already spends more on military than the next eight nations combined, at $610 billion. We crush the competition when it comes to defense spending — and Trump wants to spend even more. With that money, we could work on improving our world rankings in education or access to healthcare, but no, the Trump administration will unnecessarily expand the military.

The U.S. hasn’t had a budget surplus since former President Bill Clinton was in office, and Republicans lamented about it all eight years of Obama’s presidency, but now they have only exacerbated the problem since they’ve gained control of the legislative and executive branches. Trump’s budget and Congress’s short-term budget plan proudly proclaim the Republican party’s clear priorities to the put the rich and big business above all other Americans.

When he took office, people from both sides of the aisle hoped for Trump’s success, as it meant U.S. success. One year into his presidency and now we can only hope he does as little damage as possible.

Claudia Koechell ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in history and political science.


This article was published Feb 21, 2018 at 7:00 am and last updated Feb 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm


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