During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump was heralded for promising to zero-out the deficit. That promise was destroyed by the GOP's only legislative accomplishment: their tax bill. But now, Trump is promising to change everything.
Typically, a president presents his budget and legislative proposals at the State of the Union Address. Trump instead turned it into a political rally. His campaign slogan is "Promises Made, Promises Kept," but his ten-year budget plan does nothing to meet the promises he made about the deficit for the next decade. The proposal will run about $4.8 trillion, The Washington Post reported Sunday evening.
"Instead, White House officials plan to say their budget proposal would close the deficit by 2035," the Post reported. "During President Trump's first year in office, his advisers said their budget plan would eliminate the deficit by around 2028. This new budget will mark the third consecutive time that they abandon that 10-year goal and instead suggest a 15-year target."
One of the president's greatest problems in budgeting the country has been in overestimating the incoming funds from successes he predicted from his tax bill. Trump's first budget even predicted that he would cut the deficit to $456 billion by 2021. He's not even close.
As CNBC reported, the United States lost more tax revenue than any other developed country in the world in 2018.
"The tax cuts dramatically altered the U.S. tax landscape for the first time in decades by permanently slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, temporarily cutting individual tax rates and limiting state and local tax deductions, among other changes," the report said.
Bringing in lower revenue while spending more is generally not how deficits get reduced. Now Trump is trying to cut programs that help his voters while increasing military spending.
"The last budget of Trump's first term, expected to be publicly released on Monday, also calls for about $2 trillion in cuts to 'non-defense discretionary programs,' a category of government spending that does not include Social Security or Medicare. It would also propose extending tax cuts for families and individuals that are set to expire at the end of 2025. Budget experts have projected that extending those tax cuts would reduce revenue by roughly $1 trillion," said the Post.
The last year President Barack Obama was in office, the deficit was less than $600 billion. This year, the deficit is projected to reach $1 trillion.
At the same time, Trump's ten-year budget plan would have to pass Congress and the Senate during an election year. The odds don't look good.