He promised balanced budgets. Even under the best conditions, his administration doesn't plan a balanced budget for 15 years.
Donald Trump's new budget proposal reportedly includes a $1 trillion deficit and would not come into balance until 2035, despite his previous promises to eliminate the entire national debt by 2024.
According to Fox Business, a senior administration official said Trump's $4.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 would include add another trillion to the record $23 trillion-plus national debt. Though the plan includes proposed cuts of $4.4 trillion over 10 years, the official said it would not lead to a balanced budget until 2035, even under good economic conditions.
When Barack Obama was president, Trump frequently complained about the budget deficit and the growing national debt. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised he would balance the federal budget "quickly." He even boasted that he would pay back the nation's existing debt — already more than $19 trillion at the time — "over a period of eight years." He
Trump claimed he could do this by "renegotiating all of our [trade] deals."
That has not happened. The budget deficit for 2019 exceeded $1 trillion, in part due to Trump's 2017 tax legislation. It cut taxes significantly for the very rich and for big corporations, increased taxes for an estimated 10 million families, and added something in the neighborhood of $1 trillion to the deficit over a decade.
According to Fox Business, achieving a balanced budget in 2035 would require an average of 3% annual growth over the next 15 years.
Though Trump claimed last week in his State of the Union address that "our economy is the best it has ever been," he had not actually achieved 3% growth in any of his first three years in office. He previously predicted growth of "4, 5, and maybe even 6% ultimately," though the economy grew just 2.1% last quarter.
Trump's new budget proposal also includes substantial cuts to Medicaid. As a candidate, Trump not only promised that he would make no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but also claimed that his Republican and Democratic rivals would slash the safety net programs and that he alone would protect them.
In last week's State of the Union, he claimed that congressional Democrats also back a plan to "bankrupt our nation by providing free taxpayer-funded health care to millions of illegal aliens, forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the world who unlawfully crosses our borders."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.