Cutting the federal budget is like lyposuctioning 10 pounds out of a 1500-pound pig. This year’s exercise will prove no different. From Diana Furchtgott-Roth on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:
President Trump wants to cut the budgets of individual agencies by as much as 31%.
On Thursday President Trump released his proposed budget for fiscal 2018. It would increase defense spending by $54 billion and cut the budgets of other government agencies by the same amount.
He wants to trim executive-branch agencies with a chain saw rather than with pruners. The State Department would get a 28% cut, the Environmental Protection Agency would get a 31% reduction and the Labor Department would get a 20% decrease. Gone are a wide swath of programs that could be funded by the private sector or individual states, such as the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Washingtonians are complaining [about the proposed budget], but those who do not live on the coasts are undoubtedly cheering.
Although many in Washington are saying the sky is falling, Trump has not moved to cut Social Security and Medicare, the main sources of the budget deficit. That would have the most effect in reducing government spending in the future. When he issues a fuller 10-year budget, it is to be hoped that he will include even more cuts.
Cutting entitlements would be a welcome change. Although the U.S. economy is doing better than most of its competitors, our government for the past 15 years has been spending with abandon, increasing debt to dizzying levels. Concern about deficits was abandoned in 2002 after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Debt today is a staggering $20 trillion.
Wasteful and duplicative government programs cost taxpayers billions annually, according to the Government Accountability Office. America has over 90 anti-poverty programs, 17 food-aid programs and 22 housing-assistance programs. The federal government even pays over $150 million for “official time” for union officials who happen to be federal civil-service employees in practically all its agencies. These officials work for their unions rather than for the taxpayer.
To make Trump’s budget a reality, Congress must pass it as a budget resolution. One would expect that a Republican Congress would pass a Republican president’s budget, but senators and representatives often have their own priorities — such as getting reelected. That means retaining expenditures within their states’ borders.
To continue reading: President Trump should have made even deeper cuts in Washington’s bloated budget