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Three Thumbs Down for the Big-Spending Budget Buster

President Trump and the House and Senate leadership have reached a budget agreement and are raising the debt ceiling for two years.
One might conclude that’s good news, since it will avoid a government-shutdown drama in the fall. And that will certainly be the message from the White House, Democrats and Republicans.
But it’s also bad news, because it seems limited government and fiscal responsibility are ALWAYS the losers in these budget battles.
So for our part we give the budget deal three BIG thumbs down.

First Thumbs Down: It ends the sequester.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the budget sequester, which imposed hard limits on the growth in government spending—and both Democrats and many Republicans have been trying to escape those spending constraints ever since.
Looks like they finally succeeded.
Democrats didn’t like the limits it imposed on entitlement spending and Republicans didn’t like the limits it imposed on defense spending. Now there are no limits—literally.
Second Thumbs Down: It dramatically increases discretionary spending.
Democrats and Republicans have agreed to a $1.3 trillion budget deal, which includes $320 billion in additional discretionary spending over two years.
The media are calling this a big win for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—and it is.
Not only did she get a big spending bump, but Democrats avoided virtually any real pay-fors. The administration reportedly suggested $150 billion in offsets, but settled for $77 billion, which the media are calling largely accounting tricks.
Third Thumbs Down: It makes Trump a bigger spender than Barack Obama.
Remember when Republicans complained about big-spending Barack Obama? Good times.
The New York Times reports that Obama had an average annual increase of 3 percent in discretionary spending during his first term, and 2 percent during the second.
Trump is averaging a 4 percent annual increase in discretionary spending.
Some are now reportedly calling him “Trillion-Dollar Trump” and “Deficit Don.” Ouch!
However, it reinforces a major point: It is Trump who history will perceive as the big spender, not Congress.
The Trump administration is trying to change the narrative by highlighting its success in reducing regulations. Those have surely been helpful, but they don’t offset huge spending increases.
Trump is reportedly telling his people that big cuts are coming in 2021—after he wins reelection. Let’s hope, but don’t hold your breath.
Because when it comes to the budget battles, we always hear that Republicans have to take a bad deal now—but they’ll do better “next time.” Only “next time” never comes.