Still, one of the biggest impediments to Trump's interest in cutting the deficit is Trump himself. Publically, the president has promised not to touch entitlement programs such as Social Security or Medicaid—indeed, protecting those programs from supposed Democratic efforts to change them is a prominent message at nearly every Trump rally. And privately, the Post notes, Trump has taken Pentagon cuts off the table.Almost nobody cares about the national debt: it's paying for stuff right now and no President has ever faced a serious pushback on taxing future generations. Nobody's going to touch entitlements. We're just going to have to ride this out until the trust funds run dry.
Of course, entitlement spending is the biggest single driver of America's long-term deficit. Absent any changes to current law, those two programs alone will run a $100 trillion deficit over the next 30 years while the rest of the government will run a slight surplus, according to Congressional Budget Office projections. Military spending, which Trump urged Congress to hike to an all-time high earlier this year, will total $718 billion next year and dwarfs all other non-entitlement spending in the federal budget.
In other words, it's very difficult to be serious about balancing the budget without at least acknowledging that Social Security, Medicare, and the Pentagon will have to be part of the solution.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Meh, nobody cares
Hit and Run: "Trump Isn't Serious About Balancing the Budget - "As long as Medicare, Social Security, and the Pentagon can't be touched, it's hard to believe the president has discovered his inner fiscal hawk."