Monday, February 19News That Matters

Abbreviated pundit roundup: White House unveils cruel and fiscally irresponsible budget

We begin today’ s roundup with The New York Times and its analysis of the administration’ s cruel and fiscally irresponsible budget:

On Monday, President Trump proposed a budget that would slash spending on Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, transportation and other essential government services, all while increasing the federal deficit.

Mr. Trump’s 2019 budget, combined with the tax cuts Republicans passed last year, would amount to one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich in generations. It would also charge trillions of dollars in new debt to the account of future Americans. It’s a plan that could please only far-right ideologues who want to dissolve nearly every part of the federal government, save the military.

John Cassidy at The New Yorker details the lies:

Mulvaney and his boss have presided over a historic smash-and-grab raid on the nation’s tax base—otherwise known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017—while doing little to restrain spending. The result is a sea of red ink that now stretches into the indefinite future. This time last year, Mulvaney and his colleagues at the Office of Management and Budget claimed that the budget would be balanced in ten years. Now they have dropped the pretense. In 2028, according to the White House’s new budget, the deficit will still be four hundred and forty-five billion dollars, or 1.4 per cent of G.D.P. And even these figures are highly dubious. They depend on some highly unrealistic assumptions about spending and economic growth between now and then.

Over at The Washington Post, Eugene Robinson catalogs all the broken promises:

Remember how the president promised a $1 trillion program to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and railroads? Well, he claims to be doing even more — $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending over the next decade. But the promise comes with little or no new federal money, which means it barely qualifies as an idle wish. Trump says he wants to spend just $200 billion over 10 years on infrastructure, with cities and states providing the rest. But mayors and governors don’t have $1.3 trillion lying around; ask them, if you don’t believe me. And since the $200 billion is supposed to come from savings elsewhere in the budget, Trump effectively plans to give with one hand and take away with the other.