Budget Deficit Explodes, Trump Vows Big Cuts
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The US FY 2018 budget deficit rose to $779 billion, a $113 billion year-over-year increase, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mick Mulvaney, saying:
“This fiscal picture is a blunt warning to Congress of the dire consequences of irresponsible and unnecessary spending,” adding:
“The President’s FY 2019 budget presented a clear roadmap to solving this fiscal nightmare that has been exacerbated by Congress’ continual unwillingness to restrain spending.”
He failed to explain that out-of-control military spending, corporate handouts, and tax cuts for the rich were and remain largely responsible for huge budget deficits to continue annually.
Following his appointment as OMB director last year, Mulvaney called for Social Security and Medicare cuts – while backing Trump and congressional plans to boost military spending.
Trump’s Treasury Department estimates an $833 budget deficit in FY 2019. Given out-of-control military and other spending for the wrong things, perhaps it’ll top $1 trillion.
Following the budget deficit report, Trump called on his cabinet secretaries to cut 5% from their budgets – while supporting reckless military spending and tax cuts for the rich.
Budget cuts mostly harm social spending, fast eroding toward eliminating vital programs altogether.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have long been on the congressional chopping block for eventual elimination, undemocratic Dems pretending opposition to what they supported under Obama.
Throughout his tenure, he waged war on social America, pretending Medicare and Social Security are going broke.
When properly administered, both programs are sound. Modest adjustments alone are needed to sustain them.
They’re federally mandated contractual obligations for eligible recipients, financed through payroll tax deductions – not entitlements.
Straightaway in office, Obama prioritized cutting healthcare costs, calling it “restoring fiscal discipline.”
“The big problem is Medicare,” he said, falsely claiming its cost is “unsustainable,” adding:
“Let’s not kid ourselves and suggest that we can solve this problem by trimming a few earmarks.”
The “biggest cost drivers in our budget are entitlement programs (sic) like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, all of which get more and more expensive every year.”
“If we want to get serious about fiscal discipline – and I do – we will have to get serious about entitlement (sic) reform” – sounding as extremist as hardline Republicans.
The GOP and undemocratic Dems are allied against governance serving everyone equitably – while throwing money at militarism and endless wars of aggression, wasting countless trillions of dollars, shifting the nation’s wealth from ordinary people to corporate predators and high-net-worth ones.
Last December’s GOP tax cut resulted in corporate tax receipts declining by 31%. Individual tax receipts were flat.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell falsely blamed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending for the increased deficit.
In response to his statement, Social Security Works president Nancy Altman said “(r)ight-wingers have opposed Social Security and Medicare ever since they were first created.”
“(B)ecause these programs enjoy overwhelming support from the American people, including voters of all political affiliations, they do not normally talk about their plans for benefit cuts three weeks before an election.”
“If this is how they are talking now, imagine how emboldened they will be if they ride out the blue wave and keep control of Congress.”
Altman failed to address Obama’s war on social America throughout his tenure.
“Right-wingers” infest both wings of duopoly governance, serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of most others.
They transformed America into a plutocratic police state – increasingly unsafe and unfit to live in.
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