President Donald Trump took office amid big promises to wipe out the country’s more than $350 billion budget deficit over the next decade, but a recent report suggests balancing the budget is the latest Trump campaign promise to fall by the wayside.
According to the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, the annual U.S. budget deficit will rise above $1 trillion in 2020, two years earlier than previously forecast.
It seems Trump has completely forgotten about all the outrageous budget-related pledges he made in 2016. For instance, he promised to “reduce our $18 trillion in debt,” said he would “freeze the budget” and even told journalist Bob Woodward he could get rid of the debt “fairly quickly.”
Moreover, the commander-in-chief asserted during the second presidential debate he would bring back energy companies, which would make so much money they could pay off the national debt. Not so surprisingly, none of these fanciful promises have yet been fulfilled.
However, among the numerous of Trump’s far-fetched promises, vowing he could get rid of the national debt “over a period of eight years” may be the boldest one of them all, considering the U.S. hasn’t been debt-free since 1835.
Trump has also gone on record and told Fox News host Sean Hannity he would “balance the budget very quickly… I think over a five-year period. And I don’t know, maybe I could even surprise you.”
The POTUS has indeed surprised the country, as according to the CBS’ estimate, the 2018 deficit is $242 billion more than the office calculated last year.
Cumulatively for the 2018-27 period, the deficit will be $11.7 trillion, “$1.6 trillion larger than the $10.1 trillion that the agency anticipated in June,” the CBO report said.
This monumental deficit can largely be attributed to the lost revenue that resulted from the tax cut legislation Congress passed and Trump signed at the end of last year. At the same time, the 2018 budget passed earlier this year increases military and domestic spending by about $300 billion.
“He tried to make it seem that he could cut taxes, raise spending and eliminate deficits all at the same time, to make it seem like he’s a miracle worker,” said Stan Collender, a former congressional budget committee staffer. “It’s impossible. People who believed him really don’t understand how things work.”
The budget deficit, a condition where expenditures exceed revenues, has been on a roller coaster in recent years because of the Great Recession and the subsequent recovery. The trillion-dollar-plus deficits shrank to back to average size in recent years, but as this CBO report showed, it is set to take a nosedive yet again — thanks to increased spending and large tax cuts.
No matter what the economic indicators imply, the Trump administration doesn’t hesitate from making wildly exaggerated claims, as the White House spokesperson Raj Shah said on Fox News that the Trump budget “has over $3 trillion dollars in deficit reduction, which is the largest deficit reduction of a budget in terms of a 10-year outlay that we’ve ever seen.”
It is ironic that Republicans, who for the longest time bashed former President Barak Obama for running annual budget deficits and doubling the national debt, are now soundlessly witnessing Trump’s trillion-dollar deficits.
Trump might not have been able to turn his implausible pledges concerning the federal budget true, but he surely has been a complicit in adding to the debt.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters