Do We Want to Discuss the Trump Budget?

Where do we even start?

Photo credit: stevepb, CC0 Public Domain.

I keep thinking “today is the day I’m going to write about the Trump Budget,” and then… well, there’s so much going on that I don’t know where to start, and the story keeps changing.

Here’s where we are, as of Wednesday, May 24:

Trump Budget Director: We Didn’t Make a Childish Math Error! (They Did.)

Yesterday, the Trump administration published a federal budget plan that hinged upon an embarrassing math error. It assumed that $2 trillion of revenue, which it had already committed to pay for the cost of its tax-cut plan, would appear again, to help balance the budget. Trump’s budget officials have tried to explain that this was not an error at all but a cunning plan. Their explanation is complete nonsense.

So the explanation is that the tax cuts will be “revenue neutral,” which means every dollar the government doesn’t get because of lower taxes, will be balanced out by a dollar the government does get because of fewer tax deductions. Or maybe those tax cut dollars will get balanced out by… well, we’ll have to spend those dollars somewhere, right? Or start businesses and create jobs? And all of that stuff is taxed, so the government will get its $2 trillion back somehow.

Which… I’d like to see the math on that, but I’m not sure it’d be right. 🥁

Anyway, that is just one piece of the Trump Budget Story, and I haven’t touched on the student loan thing or the parental leave thing or the cuts to the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. (I will be honest and admit that I haven’t had time to read it all.)

So let’s make this our Trump Budget Open Thread, if you want to discuss.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.