Patterico's Pontifications

3/16/2017

Trump Budget Sounds Pretty Awesome

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:01 pm

I don’t think the Washington Post means for it to sound awesome. But it sounds awesome. The article is titled Trump federal budget 2018: Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor. Shweet! You had me at “massive cuts to the arts.” To science and to the poor too? My cup runneth over!

President Trump on Thursday will unveil a budget plan that calls for a sharp increase in military spending and stark cuts across much of the rest of the government including the elimination of dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor, fund scientific research and aid America’s allies abroad.

Trump’s first budget proposal, which he named “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.

It would also propose eliminating future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated.

The cuts could represent the widest swath of reductions in federal programs since the drawdown after World War II, probably leading to a sizable cutback in the federal non-military workforce, something White House officials said was one of their goals.

It probably sounds callous to you for me to say: “Cuts to the poor? (Whatever that means.) Awesome!” But not if you understand the free market. Government assistance to the poor is not helpful, in my view. (Explaining why takes more energy than I have right now, plus it’s mostly pointless because either you already know this, or I will never convince you because it’s the Internet and because of human nature.)

I’d be for cutting the military too, but you can’t get everything you want, and everyone here will disagree with me anyway. But this is nice.

There. I praised Trump. Don’t worry, you’ll forget it the next time I criticize him.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

53 Responses to “Trump Budget Sounds Pretty Awesome”

  1. I have a pretty bad case of I Don’t Care About Anything Today. Does it show?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Ooh, those poor starving artists and those poor, poor PBS poetry critics! Yes, this is good. And I believe it can be passed through reconciliation without a single Democrat vote?

    nk (dbc370)

  3. If there isn’t whining from Big Media then it’s not good enough. This is a good sign.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. Nancy Pelosi looked like she was over-medicated at her presser where she denounced these massive cuts.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. Good start, now let the coke bros completely fund nova.

    mg (31009b)

  6. Clearing the air-waves of crap ideology .hip-hip-hooray.

    mg (31009b)

  7. Well they handed mcvaney the ginzu knives some cuts like nah seem gratuitous,

    narciso (d1f714)

  8. . cutting the military too, but you can’t get everything you want

    The way I look at it, little KeShawn DeMorris’s preK crayon drawing class has as much right to my tax dollars as any military contractor.

    And no more.

    kishnevi (d99923)

  9. One is a designated responsibility in the constitution, the other is not.

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. KeShawn DeMorris

    Interesting, why that specific name?

    Davethulhu (18ab69)

  11. Only 35% of 147 CH-53E Marine helicopters are in a state of readiness. I’ll bet this has more to do with budget priorities than overall budgets. Obama decimated readiness in the services.

    harkin (517285)

  12. I disagree with you on cutting the military, but you live in California, so I understand.

    Dejectedhead (fe2318)

  13. obamawon the Iowa primary on the pledge to slash the military, sadly he succeeded.

    narciso (d1f714)

  14. That is just wrong, lol.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. Also, I thought Patterico was no longer commenting on posts about Trump on this blog.

    Trump is keeping more promises than Patterico.

    Dejectedhead (fe2318)

  16. And I can guess the reason you’re feeling down, Patterico. It’s been more than ten years since my father died and I still see him in my sleep.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. When he was elected, I gave Trump a rating of about “3” on the classic scale (vs Hillary’s “1”).

    But he keeps climbing, despite the Twitter-induced setbacks. With this and the incredibly sane health plan he’s up to 6 or 7.

    Who would have thought.

    Performance?

    Intentions: A
    Execution: C-

    But it’s still early and there’s a lot of Press to tame.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  18. Trump is keeping more promises

    LOL OK man. I hope you’re in Colorado if you’re smoking what I think you’re smoking.

    I normally think the military budget should be cut as it’s truly a behemoth. I think it’s at least possible some more spending is necessary after a period of gutting. I do not equate more military spending with more security, but we do need to rebuild a bit as our weakened military is pretty provocative to bad guys.

    I do love the idea of all these sweeping cuts, but remember Trump also wants a lot of spending for other things. It’s too early to grade Trump on spending, but if you judge him by his promises he’s going to get an F.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  19. Don’t think I’d cut the military as such, but I would get rid of some bloated weapon systems and build more of what works. More A-10s, a bunch more F-16s, no F-35s, etc. I’d also get rid of the manned space program in a few years and let private industry take care of that. Instead, I’d give JPL a lot more money for robotic exploration and suggest they try for the stars.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  20. Did they cut Governor Browns train? This is the acid test of seriousness.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  21. I think a better test is percentage of gap allovated

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. That is the test for NATO countries us it not.

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. Zero out all dept budgets. No baselines. Start anew.

    Locke (43d957)

  24. I disagree with you on cutting the military, but you live in California, so I understand.

    Dejectedhead (fe2318) — 3/16/2017 @ 8:41 pm

    You apparently have zero idea just how much waste there is in military procurement. One problem is 5 different branches seem to require 5 different versions of the same item. Claw hammers come to mind…

    Bill H (383c5d)

  25. Also, I thought Patterico was no longer commenting on posts about Trump on this blog.

    Trump is keeping more promises than Patterico.

    Dejectedhead (fe2318) — 3/16/2017 @ 9:02 pm

    Strange. I don’t remember Patterico promising he wouldn’t comment on Trump on his own blog, only that he would refrain from it.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  26. Did they cut Governor Browns train? This is the acid test of seriousness.

    Kevin M (25bbee) — 3/16/2017 @ 9:32 pm

    I would hope so. The Oroville disaster should have focused Brown’s mind, but you know it didn’t
    He’s going to go ahead with high-speed fail, come hell. We’ve already had the high water.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  27. We get a couple weeks of unseasonably warm weather and we’ll see high water alright, Bill.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. Looks like Squeals On Wheels.
    Smells like reheated borscht.
    Tastes like… strawberries.

    Better make it dead on arrival.” – ‘D.O.A.’ 1950

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. #25. If your complaint is that the military needs to be reorganized, I’m all ears. There’s no doubt that the recent military cuts have hurt military readiness. They can’t be prepared for the possibility that a war breaks out on two fronts and have had a shrinking navy.

    Dejectedhead (fe2318)

  30. Feb 2017 jobs report
    (Labor Department officials announced good news for anyone looking for a job this year: Its latest employment report, released Friday, revealed US employers added more jobs — 235,000 of them — in February, beating analysts’ expectations of 190,000. The biggest employment gains occurred in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, health care, and mining. The report also noted the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent from 4.9 percent a year earlier, and wages rose 2.8 percent over last year.

    President Trump, who in the past had criticized the stats as ‘phony numbers,’ tweeted praise for the new report on Friday. When asked about the change in tone, White House spokesman Sean Spicer quipped, ‘I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly: ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.’)

    papertiger (c8116c)

  31. So which Republican Senator is going to screw over the Administration and demand to restore the budget cuts? Here are some good candidates:

    Collins (ME) – From a mostly-blue state in the Northeast but with a per capita income below the median; she has a reputation as a “moderate” to uphold.

    McCain (AZ) – Big media’s favorite “maverick.” He’s been yammering on about budget bloat for years, and I think closing the NEA and CPB was part of his 2008 Presidential campaign platform, but he is no fan of the President and he may be looking for another flattering editorial in the NY Times.

    Graham (SC) – Will probably do whatever John McCain does.

    Heller (NV) – Up for reelection in 2018 and may be worried about Hairy Reed’s machine getting out the vote.

    Hatch (UT) – Old and senile, may decide that the cuts are too harsh. Also up for reelection in 2018.

    Roberts (KS) – See Hatch above, though Roberts is not up for reelection until 2020.

    Alexander (TN) – May uncork his inner moderate just to get his name in the papers.

    Murkowski (AK) – Marches to the beat of a different drummer. Seems to have a soft spot for federal spending. Won her seat seven years ago without the support of the Republican party.

    Remember folks, it only takes three GOP Senators to undermine this budget.

    JVW (5de783)

  32. all of the above will shiv the President

    mg (31009b)

  33. Mr. Trump’s been very kind to creepy old Orin

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  34. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters March 15 that Cabinet secretaries will have more discretion as to how they implement lower discretionary budgets over the next two years than compared to previous administrations. This includes how to allocate personnel and how to move money among programs based on priorities and how they’re working.

    “We worked with agencies to adjust the numbers and gave them tremendous flexibilities,” Mulvaney said. “The top-line number will come down to the secretary to implement.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  35. Oh, noes! Does this mean they’re going to take away the subsidy from Bruce Springsteen’s farm? Not Ted Turner’s buffalo ranches, too? Tell me not Ted Turner’s buffalo ranches!

    nk (dbc370)

  36. They can’t do that, can they?

    nk (dbc370)

  37. It’s a start. We’ll know they’re serious when they tackle the other “untouchable” 75% of the budget.

    crazy (d3b449)

  38. this noonan trollop’s passed her ex-date i think

    We don’t need any new culture wars we’ve got enough, thanks! Is the worst thing that could happen in the world right now that a kid from New Jersey can come into Manhattan and see an off-Broadway show seeded with a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts? No, that’s not the worst thing that could happen!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  39. 37… baby they were born to stampede

    Colonel Haiku (384e8e)

  40. 21. Kevin M (25bbee) — 3/16/2017 @ 9:32 pm

    Did they cut Governor Browns train? This is the acid test of seriousness.

    Isn’t that done under a system where it is California that decides where to spend the money – something like matching funds? It’s not an earmark. But to do it, doesn’t California also sometimes want more money in total for transportation, and Caliorna probably is not getting enough money to fund it. Sp I think they decided to build something useless by itself, so that case for building more would be more cost effective.

    At least with the Second Avenue subway, New York built (at a tremendously high cost, uing the stations to display art instead of renting the space) the most useful part of the project. But then, they are already running a system, and interested in collecting fares, even if not in collecting rent, [too many people in the real estate business on the MTA board] while California has absolutely no interest in that. It won’t be profitable even starting with no debt.

    If President Trump gets his infrastucture spending going – is it in he budget? – the money that can go to the California high speed long distance train line would probably be increased.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  41. JVW

    Has a president ever shut down the government in a budget fight with his own party?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  42. There’s a lot of federal lands and facilities that can be shut down in AK and AZ a la Obama. Can the Interior Dept have a go at these idiotic senators? Or does Trump go make deals with the Democrats?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  43. I guess Trump could turn around and woo the western senators by loosening up the BLM and Interior Dept and bring back mining and forestry jobs. 84 Lumber might get their mind right.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  44. Budget is definitely a good start. Cuts a lot of bloat from areas that eventually need to be returned to the states.

    Need to get entitlement reform out because that’s where the bulk of our crippling debt exists.

    NJRob (43d957)

  45. all of the above will shiv the President

    Sez the guy who supports House conservatives shivving the President.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  46. Isn’t that done under a system where it is California that decides where to spend the money – something like matching funds?

    It’s not a blank check. Someone has to approve.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  47. Of course we’ll remember. Bravo to you! Bravo to Trump!

    I was watching the local morning news while making breakfast and I heard, “it’s the worst budget since Reagan.” Not quite certain who said it(Pelosi?), but I was LOL.

    Not all government spending is the same. There is a multiplier effect when it comes to government spending. For some expenditures, such as the EPA, the multiplier is negative. Cutting the EPA budget will make American business more profitable as bureaucratic interference is reduced. This is an especially beneficial spending cut. Spending on infrastructure, on the other hand, at least promises a positive multiplier. Although I’m no big supporter of infrastructure spending, more and better roads will reduce costs to road users – pretty much all of us. In addition, Trump promises to make sure his infrastructure spending isn’t pissed away. We are told the Trump administration will use the President’s experience in development to get high impact projects completed on schedule and under budget. The bar was set so low by the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act it shouldn’t be hard for President Trump to perform better.

    It is important to remember that simply summing up all spending cuts and increases doesn’t provide a particularly informative measure of performance. A good parallel is “No New Taxes” pledge. The deficiency of this pledge is that many existing taxes are grossly inefficient and skew economic outcomes. Inefficient taxes beg to be replaced by more efficient taxing schemes. Sadly, with Republicans taking up the pledge, improving the efficiency of our tax laws was out of the question. As in so many other things, the devil is in the details.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  48. “I have a pretty bad case of I Don’t Care About Anything Today. Does it show?”

    I bet it is a beautiful day in L.A. today. It’s hard to care when it is a beautiful day.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  49. 84 Lumber pissed away their niche, but sure. And how come Nevada, speaking of target Senators, is never listed as Californicated with CO and others, considering the revancha voting the weekend before the general? At best NV is a geographically upside down version of Illinois.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  50. It is time to abolish the entire federal government, beginning with its largest programs: DoD, SS, medicaid and medicare, and all the out of control agencies: DHS, CIA, FBI, DEA, NSA, ATF, ICE and so on. Make all the parasites that “work” for these agencies get real jobs or starve to death.

    rational_person (3b68d8)

  51. If these cuts are actually made, several thousand federal jobs will be eliminated. Since the Old Dominion is now a blue state due solely to all of the federal workers in the DC suburbs, eliminating those jobs will help return Virginia to red state glory.

    The Dana who use to live in Virginia (1b79fa)


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