Donald Trump Budget Proposal: Imperfect, But Promising

For all its flaws, the president’s plan could prompt a sorely needed conversation about fiscal reform.

Our annual budget theater has now begun: President Trump has released his proposed FY 2018 budget, and Congress has pronounced it “dead on arrival.” This yearly ritual has become such a part of Washington life that presidential budgets should probably be delivered to Capitol Hill in a crepe-draped carriage drawn by six black horses. Still, even if Trump’s budget is not going to become law, it offers an important opportunity to reshape the fiscal landscape.

Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due: Trump’s proposal would reduce the growth in federal spending by $3.6 trillion over ten years, resulting in a balanced budget by 2027. Yes, this projection relies on unrealistic levels of economic growth and cuts that are never going to happen, but it still makes Donald Trump the only president even to aspire to balancing the budget since Bill Clinton in 2001.

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