A mean spirited, dishonest budget

On PBS Newshour last night, Mark Shields and David Brooks defined the President’s budget succinctly. They said it was a “mean-spirited, dishonest budget.” I had been searching for the right words to define a proposed budget that kicks people in poverty in the teeth. Fortunately, Senator John McCain said the budget was “dead on arrival.”

The budget is bothersome in so many levels as it severely cuts Medicaid and food stamps, as well as other programs. The latter has grown because of the greater number of people in need. Yet, while these cuts are occurring, tax breaks for the wealthy would be provided.

But, it does not end there. It has been reported about the extra rosy and very hard to achieve projections on revenue growth. While this is not too uncommon, it is still sleight of hand. When people say tax cuts pay for themselves, that is as believable as the check is in the mail. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget will say there often are some revenue improvements, but nothing near paying for the entire cut.

Yet, there is more dishonesty. Former Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers said in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post that there is some double counting of revenue sources, an obvious error. Per Summers, “You can’t use the growth benefits of tax cuts once to justify an optimistic baseline and then again to claim that the tax cuts do not cost revenue. At least you cannot do so in a world of logic.” Summers noted he has not seen something like this in a budget proposal in 40 years and a business person should know better than to double count like this.

To be brutally frank, this is not what the President advertised in the campaign. He touted his business leadership as something the country sorely needs. Yet, former Speaker John Boehner said with the exception of foreign policy, Trump’s presidency has been a “complete disaster.” I would argue his point on the foreign policy omission. But, it should be noted is how this budget, the AHCA bill, and other measures harm the very constituents that rose up to vote for this newcomer. He is screwing them and they still lack awareness that is what he is doing.

Getting back to Brooks, I have cited his earlier observation after the horribly planned and executed travel ban. “This White House is equal parts chaos and incompetence.” Summers used the latter word in his piece, as well. We can now add “mean spirited and dishonest.” These are not words that he had hoped to elicit when elected.



14 thoughts on “A mean spirited, dishonest budget

    • Janis, they are not hearing to the extent they need to. I did see where Larry Summers was on Fox News for an interview. The drip, drip, drip is taking a toll, with the Wall Street Journal doing an editorial piece saying Trump needs to shape up or ship out. That is why Boehner’s comments are relevant. Especially after the Jared Kushner story where he and Flynn asked for a back channel communication to Russia through their embassy in December, if I were a Republican leader, the time has arrived to hold this President to account and seek the truth. Keith

      • Toby, we need some patriots to step forward and make sure we get to the bottom of things. This President will fight, obstruct, lie, change his lies, throw folks under the bus and do his best to demonize the critics. For a man who does not admit mistakes, he may have to be impeached if all that appears to be true is. Keith

  1. Rowling’s ‘tiny tiny tiny little man’ tweet sums it up well. This morning there was a photo of T with other leaders nearby; they looked well bred and proper, and he reminded me of Tom Hanks’ role in ‘Big’ – the little boy dressed up in big-man’s clothing.

    • Lisa, he still acts like that little boy. It was a small gesture and the Montenegro leader was gracious, but DT had to be in the front, so he shoved him out of the way. Small gesture, but speaks volumes. Keith

      • It appeared that he had tunnel vision, seeing only his intended destination – without consideration for those in front of him. I know people like that, and they will most likely never learn true respect for others…

      • Lisa, I think we all have, which is why it is a surprise people did not see through him. He has rarely shown genuine interest in others. It has always been about The Donald. Keith

      • Sometimes those who are closest are the ones who cannot see the clear facts.. a creative negative-image example would be like standing at the foot of a tree-covered mountain and not being able to see the snow at the top… one has to stand back to see the entire picture…

        Ah but they’ll eventually see it when the avalanche tumbles down and takes them with it….

  2. I remember when we all rolled our eyes at Reagan’s first and second budget, which included those legacy-extending, holy grail of tax cuts of his. Many of us shook our heads even then that he could present it with such a straight face (David Stockman included). I’ll have to take Larry Summers at his word with the 40 year remark. All the same, it’s not a pleasant economic deja vu. – Marty

    • Marty, thanks for your comment and I love your handle. Seeing David Stockman’s name brought a smile as he changed his mind later and said to Arthur Laffer “trickle down economics does not work.” Four studies have proven it and the state of Kansas is feeling it. If it worked, it would have a better name.

      Reagan was far from perfect, but he was a better leader than our current one is. And, he would not be elected in the current GOP, which is telling to me. Thanks for commenting and please feel free to do so at any time. Keith

  3. His budget is most certainly mean-spirited and dishonest, and I suspect that he knew it would not fly when he submitted it. First, to say that tax cuts do not cost revenue is a joke. The only way they wouldn’t would be if all the wealthy re-invested 100% of their added net profit back into the economy. They don’t. Most re-invest a very small portion. Their savings do not ‘trickle down’ … never did, never will.

    The budget, as presented, would be fatal to those in the lowest poverty levels, and would cause most of those who are barely above the poverty level to drop below it. And for what??? So he can build a wall that is not only unnecessary, but that would be a detriment to many of the states along the Mexican border. It would lower tourism and disrupt trade. And so he can expand our military, when we already spend more on military than any other nation on the globe.

    As I said, he is not a very intelligent man, but even so, he had to know this budget would not survive in Congress. So what was his purpose? To make it appear to his supporters that he is trying to do as he promised them? To start the bidding high and give himself some wiggle room to bargain? I think of this budget as reverse Robin Hood … rob from the poor to give to the rich. And I am not happy, but am relieved to know that he cannot sign an executive order to put it into place!

    Good post, Keith!

    • Thanks Jill. I don’t think he pays much attention to the details. That has never been his forte. He is the self-proclaimed big picture. I want things done, the details are less relevant.

      I found one facet of his trip interesting, but highly disdainful of others. Apparently, he was not an attentive listener to other leaders as he was often caught without his translation headphones on. It gets back to you tend to get his attention when you cater to him. The briefs on issues by his subordinates have to be extremely short or he loses interest.

      But, of course, he knows best. He alone can solve our problems. Of course, he picks on German trade policy, when we have a trade agreement with the EU, not Germany.

      My guess on the budget is he will fire Mulvaney for embarrassing him with his faulty math. Keith

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