Donald J. Trump’s proposed budget brings to mind a couple of thoughts about the president and the campaign he ran in 2016.
First, the president really is just another politician despite what he and his supporters said to the contrary during his amazing presidential election campaign. That is, he has made promises he cannot — or will not — keep to those who supported him.
Trump promised to leave the social safety net alone. His budget does nothing of the kind. It provides deep cuts to Medicaid, Meals on Wheels and other social programs upon which millions of Americans rely.
What’s more, he hits hard at farm subsidies important to rural Americans who turned out by the millions in 2016 to cast their votes for the flashy New York business mogul/reality TV celebrity.
His populist message, which he foisted on Americans who were willing to listen to it? Forget about it!
His budget provides big tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And, oh yes. He also is proposing big spending increases in the defense budget — all while pledging to balance the budget in just 10 years.
The document sits at $4.1 trillion. Democrats hate it, quite naturally. Many congressional Republicans dislike it as well. It’s the GOP side of Congress that is more interesting to watch, given the peril they face as the 2018 mid-term election approaches.
Both sides are declaring the president’s budget to be “dead on arrival.” That’s standard operating rhetoric for members of Congress, no matter the party affiliation of the president who sends them a budget.
This much is clear: Donald Trump is going to get yet another real-time lesson on how the federal government works. As the saying goes, the president proposes, while Congress disposes of budgets.