EDITORIAL: Stop spending, before it stops us – Opinion – Northwest Florida Daily News

EDITORIAL: Stop spending, before it stops us – Opinion – Northwest Florida Daily News


We’re looking at colossal spending under the current president versus gargantuan spending under a new Democratic one.

President Donald Trump released his 2021 federal budget on Monday. It’s a $4.8 trillion monstrosity that beefs up defense spending, cuts some safety net programs, and inflates the already staggering national debt.

Trump’s budget will invite considerable hand-wringing, pearl-clutching and rhetorical swooning from his critics.

But all of that will be largely for show. The New York Times on Monday captured succinctly in one paragraph both the essence of the president’s budget plan and what our nation faces in November’s election:

“The White House budget is largely a messaging document that reflects the administration’s spending priorities and has little chance of being enacted in full by Congress. While Monday’s proposal is similar to the president’s previous requests, it is a stark contrast with the leading Democratic rivals for the White House, who have proposed large tax increases on the rich and expansions of government efforts to provide health care, education, affordable housing and aid for the poor.”

Think about those two sentences.

Relative to the first one, for all the fainting spells you’ll see on CNN or MSNBC, Trump’s budget, as is, will go nowhere. And in essence that makes him like every other president. None of them ever get all they want from Congress.

Now, about the second sentence.

According to the Times, Trump’s budget proposal adds $7 trillion to the national debt by 2030. But consider a Washington Post analysis of the top Democratic contenders’ spending plans from just six weeks ago: the review “found 10-year costs ranging from about $4 trillion to more than $50 trillion. The annual federal budget now is about $4.5 trillion. Even the most sparse of the 2020 plans dwarfs what successful Democrats pushed before. As she seized the Democratic nomination in 2016, Hillary Clinton proposed a 10-year agenda estimated at $1.45 trillion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.”

In short, we’re looking at colossal spending under the current president versus gargantuan spending under a new Democratic one.

Lost in the morass is a crucial point: talking about how much money the government needs to operate rather than talking about how much money the federal government actually spends.

According to the World Bank as of 2017, its most recent data, the U.S. was already spending $1 trillion more each year than the next biggest spender, China, which has four times as many people.

The U.S. spends roughly the same per person as Germany, but outspends Britain and Japan by about 12%.

Under Trump’s proposal, our government would spend $152,207 per second in 2021, and we can see only a handful of lawmakers who believe that is too high. All Democrats, meanwhile, believe that is insufficient and would radically increase that.

It’s really difficult to see how any of this is sustainable for much longer, no matter who we elect in November.

The Lakeland Ledger



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