Trump budget is a good start, but the toughest choices remain

March 16, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the discretionary budget proposed by the Trump administration:

“Americans for Limited Government praises the discretionary budget proposed by the Trump administration, which makes tough choices in determining the nation’s priorities. President Trump ran on increasing defense spending, and the budget does so, by increasing it by $54 billion, and is now accompanied by $54 billion of responsible, offsetting spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

“However, Congress’ job is to cut the size and scope of the government. Since 2008, the overall budget has increased from $2.9 trillion to $3.8 trillion, all the while so-called discretionary spending was actually held even at $1.1 trillion. Meaning, over the course of the past 8 years, there was an average annual increase of over $100 billion in outlays thanks to increases in so-called mandatory spending even as interest rates were dropping, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

“This points to the true budget challenge facing our nation with the debt now near $20 trillion. We either come to grips with the so-called mandatory spending, or that spending will eat away our capacity to have a strong national defense or much of anything else.”

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