Drain the Swamp

Trump targets federal budget for serious cuts

For the first time in modern history, a GOP president may be serious about spending cuts.

Image Credit: The White House

GOP presidents have talked a big game on cutting the federal budget for a long time but none have delivered. Nixon raised domestic spending through the roof with a long list of new federal agencies. Even the sainted Gipper, though having to massively raise the defense budget after years of Jimmy Carter neglect, failed to tackle domestic spending.

Domestic outlays went up under both Bushes and hard core conservative proposals to do away with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, and other federal swamp pits never saw the light of day.

But Donald Trump is a different kind of Republican president. Not only is he not hostage to the DC bureaucracy, he loathes it and it loathes him back with knobs on.

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Forbes reports that with the national debt at $23.2 trillion and annual budget deficits over $1 trillion, someone has got to do something before the feds drown in red ink.

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Here are some Trump budget proposals, as reviewed by Forbes, that will be submitted to Congress on Monday. They seem to do just that.

  • Stop the end of the year gravy train- If you’ve ever worked for the feds you know that at the end of the fiscal year it is use it or lose it. Plus, if you don’t use it the boys at at the top think you need less and you get less in the new budget.

    So feds inflate their money needs and never, but never, ask for less. As the most vital thing to DC types is to protect their funding, Trump’s idea will not go over well with the swamp. Which is the very reason Trump wants to do it.

  • Stop improper payments- Last year the genius feds paid out almost $1 billion to dead people. Social Security overpaid by $10 billion in 2019. Also, Social Security says they have six million people on their books age 112 and older. One problem, there are only 40 people in the whole world 112 and older. Medicare and Medicaid overpaid recipients by $67 billion last year.

    The IRS wrongly paid out $18.4 billion through the earned income program in 2019. In fact, since 2005 the government has mistakenly paid out $1.2 trillion. Trump wants a serious private sector run audit to clear up this mess.

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  • Stop cost overruns- NASA is $3 billion over budget for their newest moon rocket. In a familIar refrain, the USAF bought $1200 coffee cups, spending $350,000 on the purchases. The U.S. Census is over budget by $3.3 billion.

    We could go on. The president plans to expand oversight and crack down on budget schedules.

As opposed to most pols who only give lip service to fighting boondoggles and waste, Team Trump says they are serious.

We’d like to believe them. Upcoming federal budgets will tell the real story.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence; he served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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