Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trump's Budget: More for Defense

President Trump's FY18 Budget Blueprint came out this morning.

And the numbers are up on usgovernmentspending.com. You can compare the Trump FY18 budget numbers for 2018 to Obama FY17 budget numbers for defense here.

Well, you can't see the whole budget but just the "discretionary" portion of the budget. And the message is simple. There is $54 billion more for defense and $54 billion less for everything else.

Let's see. $54 billion in a $1,065 billion discretionary budget? That's a change of about five percent. Or one percent over the whole $4 trillion budget. Yay!

But, of course, it gores a bunch of liberal sacred cows:

AgencyFY18 Change
in $ billion
Agriculture-4.7
Commerce-1.5
Defense+52.4
Education-9.2
Energy-1.7
Health and
Human Services
-12.6
Homeland
Security
+2.8
HUD-6.2
Interior-1.5
Justice-4.0
Labor-2.5
State and Intl Aid-10.9
Corps of Engrs-1.0
EPA-2.6

It's all in Table 2. 2018 Discretionary Overview by Major Agency, in the Trump Budget Blueprint.

All this is in "Budget Authority," which is not the same as actual spending, or "Outlays." And it represents $1,065 billion out of a $4,000 billion budget. The remaining $3 trillion in "mandatory" spending is yet to come.

And with the rest of the budget will come the all-important Historical Tables on which the data in usgovernmentspending.com is based.

What about the mandatory spending? Right now, FY18 spending for Social Security is budgeted at $1,031 billion and Medicare at $608 billion. President Trump says he is not going to touch them, so that's all right. Then there is Medicaid at $568 billion and I don't know what will happen there, what with Trumpcare and all.

I suppose all liberals all over the nation are going to be screaming their heads off at this budget. Why is this?

The answer is that the programs that liberals really love are the regulatory programs that employ liberals to order the rest of us around. Most of the federal budget consists of handouts of free stuff to middle-class people that cannot be touched. But where liberals really live is where the power lies. And for the last 100 years, power issues from the arbitrary rules and regulations of the administrative state. To make us safe. To save the planet.

I am always amazed at how we manage to scream and yell about the tiniest things in politics. Wow! A cut of $2.7 billion at the Environmental Protection Agency! It's the End of the World!

If only.

But I tell you what intrigues me. It's the $4.0 billion cut at the Department of Justice. There is nothing about this in the one-page summary for the Department of Justice in the Blueprint. There is a cryptic note about "mandatory spending changes involving the Crime Victims Fund and the Assets Forfeiture Fund." So what is going on?

Could it be that the Trumpists are taking the "negative spending" from fines and asset forfeitures away from the Justice Department and putting them into the general revenue -- you know, taxes -- that goes direct to the Department of Treasury.

If I were president, I would eliminate all "negative spending" where individual agencies get to keep monies like fees and fines and Medicare premiums instead of the money going to the Treasury.

In my administration all money collected by the Feds would be general revenue, and all money would go through the Treasury.

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