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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The president's American Carnage budget increases his own

by digby

Trump's draconian budget hellscape, that slashes funding for the disabled and the elderly in nursing homes so they can be "freed" to go out and earn a living again, oddly includes lots of increases for the White House and the president's own needs:

The cuts to some parts of the federal budget would be severe under Trump’s proposal. The Department of Labor’s budget would drop 19.8 percent. The Department of the Interior would get cut by 10.9 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency loses more than 30 percent of its entire budget in the Trump document—all in the name of fiscal discipline and balancing the federal budget within the next 10 years.

But Trump’s budget does not include any cuts for the executive office of the president, including the roughly 450 people on the White House staff, nor for the multimillion dollar operating budgets at the White House residence or at the Naval Observatory, where Vice President Mike Pence lives.

Trump also chose to fully fund or increase funding for the eight advisory councils that report to him through the Executive Office of the President, including the Council of Economic Advisers, the National Security Council, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality.

Mulvaney’s agency, the Office of Management and Budget, even gets a 7.7 percent increase in the White House budget request. The extra $8 million would mostly go to pay for an additional 30 full-time staff positions, which would put the total number of staff at OMB at 495. Neither the White House nor the OMB responded to inquiries about why the extra personnel would be necessary, but a senior House staffer familiar with the OMB request confirmed that the agency has asked for more money and additional staff.

Elsewhere in the budget, Trump also requests $60 million, in part to hire more Secret Service agents, who guard him and his family, as well as the multiple Trump residences outside of Washington that have to be secured at all times. The Washington Post reported that the Secret Service had asked for the extra money in March.

There's also talk of Trump raising money to pay for his personal lawyers fighting the Russia investigations for him. He will not spend a dime of his own money for anything and is actually costing the taxpayers vast sums for the protection of his properties all over the world. What a sweet scam.

Stan Collender writes:
While it might work as a campaign event, the Trump 2018 budget flops big time as a real policy proposal and practical guide for Congress. Its economics are pie-in-the-sky, its numbers are speculative at best, and its spending cut proposals are unlikely to ever be considered seriously.
But it’s also not clear whether the Trump budget will actually work as a political rallying cry.

Although the administration will try to emphasize the big picture proposals — the wall, the Pentagon, the projected surplus — many of the individual plans such as the cuts in Medicaid and the Social Security disability program break promises the president made during the campaign. Many of the smaller Trump-proposed spending cuts will be felt by his supporters as well, and congressional Democrats are certain to make political life miserable for any Republicans who support them. 
It didn’t take long for the Trump 2018 budget to disappear inside the Beltway. Less than two days after the details emerged, congressional Republicans had all but stopped talking about it. With the president overseas and not part of the rollout, and no one but Mulvaney promoting it, the budget seemed destined to vanish by the end of the week.
That will make the Trump 2018 budget one of the biggest and most rapid failures in recent American history.