Monday, March 20, 2017

Trump's Budgetary Blueprint Retains the Welfare State

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation on, “Trump’s Budgetary Blueprint Retains the Welfare State.”

Donald Trump's proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2018 may warm the hearts of conservatives and classical liberals in terms of recommended cuts in a variety of discretionary spending programs, including – oh, no, how will mankind survive? – the EPA and NPR.

But what is more telling and troubling is the intention of leaving intact the primary driver of bigger and more costly government -- the "entitlement" programs surrounding Social Security and Medicare. These are all left sacrosanct, untouched by the budget-cutter's chopping block.

Instead, a significant increase in defense spending – $54 billion – will be reallocated from other redistributive and regulatory programs in the "discretionary" spending category.

This means that 70 percent of the federal budget is "off limits" -- Social Security, Medicare and net interest payments on the national debt -- plus the 15 percent currently comprising defense spending, for a total of 85 percent of the budget untouchable from repeal and retrenchment.  

And it is uncertain whether even the remaining 15 percent of government spending targeted for cut or elimination in Trump's budgetary blueprint will fully happen, once Republicans and Democrats in Congress design the details for the government's overall budget for fiscal year 2018 under the influence of the various special interest groups upon which they are, respectively, dependent.

We continue to be heading down the road of fiscal unsustainability and ruin, unless the premises and presumptions of the welfare state are successfully challenged.


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