Trump's budget: the dream of a paranoid strongman and a vicious Scrooge

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The art of the deal in play e.g. I'll give ya $20 for that $100 coat, señor, that and his paranoia, the paranoia he stirs in his kin.

Trump's budget: the dream of a paranoid strongman and a vicious Scrooge

Donald Trump isn’t a details guy, which is why his skinny budget is skinnier than most. Every president sends these proposals to Congress to specify their general spending preferences. Trump’s plan is especially sketchy when it comes to how it actually pays for everything. As a political vision, though, it couldn’t be clearer: a kind of banana republic militarism designed to fleece taxpayers, enrich defense contractors, punish agencies deemed disloyal and screw the poor at every turn.

It is at least refreshing that Trump’s budget plan makes no pretenses of fiscal responsibility. It seeks to lift the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act, the last big attempt to rein in deficits, because the BCA set limits to defense and non-defense discretionary spending alike. Trump wants a $54bn boost for the military, and promises to pay for it by eliminating programs popular with many, including Republican, members of Congress. Which won’t happen, which means some combination of austerity and deficit spending instead.

Trump likes to compare himself to Reagan, and the comparison isn’t unwarranted: Reagan’s legacy, too, was putting the country massively into debt to pay for an arms race. That Trump’s arms race is not only wasteful but impractical is, like Trump, another 80s throwback: the proposal leans heavily on military hardware that is entirely inappropriate for the wars the US finds itself fighting today, with outlays for warships and fighter jets, despite the fact that Isis, last anyone checked, does not have a navy or air force.

Trump doesn’t want an effective military, he wants a big, expensive, ostentatious one that he can march down Pennsylvania Avenue like a Soviet May Day parade. The centerpiece to this, Trump’s Star Wars, is the disastrous F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Republicans and even Trump himself have derided as a turkey that can’t perform any of the functions it’s supposed to, other than make money for Lockheed Martin.

On the non-defense side, Trump’s plan calls for austerity that will fall squarely on the shoulders of the poor. Someone has to pay for all those F-35s, after all, and it won’t be Trump’s golfing buddies at Mar-a-Lago, who he’s promised tax cuts (“the biggest since Reagan, maybe bigger”).​

More: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/16/trumps-budget-dream-paranoid-strongman-vicious-scrooge

In Trump's words:

We're going to be planning a major tax cut. I know exactly what we're looking at -- most of us know exactly the plan. It's going to put our country in great shape and we're going to reduce taxes for companies and for people, and I can use the word again -- massively. It's going to be a big tax cut, the biggest since Reagan, maybe bigger than Reagan.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/07/remarks-president-trump-and-representative-steve-scalise-meeting-us
 
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Nov 2012
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The art of the deal in play e.g. I'll give ya $20 for that $100 coat, señor, that and his paranoia, the paranoia he stirs in his kin.

Trump's budget: the dream of a paranoid strongman and a vicious Scrooge

Donald Trump isn’t a details guy, which is why his skinny budget is skinnier than most. Every president sends these proposals to Congress to specify their general spending preferences. Trump’s plan is especially sketchy when it comes to how it actually pays for everything. As a political vision, though, it couldn’t be clearer: a kind of banana republic militarism designed to fleece taxpayers, enrich defense contractors, punish agencies deemed disloyal and screw the poor at every turn.

It is at least refreshing that Trump’s budget plan makes no pretenses of fiscal responsibility. It seeks to lift the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act, the last big attempt to rein in deficits, because the BCA set limits to defense and non-defense discretionary spending alike. Trump wants a $54bn boost for the military, and promises to pay for it by eliminating programs popular with many, including Republican, members of Congress. Which won’t happen, which means some combination of austerity and deficit spending instead.

Trump likes to compare himself to Reagan, and the comparison isn’t unwarranted: Reagan’s legacy, too, was putting the country massively into debt to pay for an arms race. That Trump’s arms race is not only wasteful but impractical is, like Trump, another 80s throwback: the proposal leans heavily on military hardware that is entirely inappropriate for the wars the US finds itself fighting today, with outlays for warships and fighter jets, despite the fact that Isis, last anyone checked, does not have a navy or air force.

Trump doesn’t want an effective military, he wants a big, expensive, ostentatious one that he can march down Pennsylvania Avenue like a Soviet May Day parade. The centerpiece to this, Trump’s Star Wars, is the disastrous F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Republicans and even Trump himself have derided as a turkey that can’t perform any of the functions it’s supposed to, other than make money for Lockheed Martin.

On the non-defense side, Trump’s plan calls for austerity that will fall squarely on the shoulders of the poor. Someone has to pay for all those F-35s, after all, and it won’t be Trump’s golfing buddies at Mar-a-Lago, who he’s promised tax cuts (“the biggest since Reagan, maybe bigger”).​

More: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/16/trumps-budget-dream-paranoid-strongman-vicious-scrooge

In Trump's words:

We're going to be planning a major tax cut. I know exactly what we're looking at -- most of us know exactly the plan. It's going to put our country in great shape and we're going to reduce taxes for companies and for people, and I can use the word again -- massively. It's going to be a big tax cut, the biggest since Reagan, maybe bigger than Reagan.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/07/remarks-president-trump-and-representative-steve-scalise-meeting-us
White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the White House press corps Thursday that popular vote loser Donald Trump's budget cuts Meals on Wheels and after-school nutrition programs because those programs "aren't showing any results."

We can't do that anymore. We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good.

Meals on Wheels sounds great. […] I can't defend that anymore. We cannot defend that anymore. $20 trillion in debt. We're going to spend money, we're going to spend a lot of money but we're not going to spend it on programs that show they deliver the promises we made to people.

As for the school children:

They're supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home get fed so they do better in school. Guess what? There's no evidence they're actually doing that. There's no evidence they're helping results, helping kids do better in school, which is what -- when we took your money from you to say, we're going to spend them on after-school program, we justified it by saying these kids will do better in school and get jobs. We have no proof that's helping.

Goddammit old people and school children! Get out there and get jobs so we know that feeding you is worth our money.

No, Mulvaney says, the "compassionate" thing to do is for tax payers, to "go to them and say, look, we're not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore. Single mom of two in Detroit, give us your money. We're not going to do that anymore unless can guarantee that money will be used in a proper function." That, he says, "is about as compassionate as you can get."

Because, really, wouldn't we all rather fund a few more destroyers than see our neighbors not starve?

https://youtu.be/Z_Ej8g3eF0k
 
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