Congress and the White House are set to put off any fights over the national debt limit until after the next election. The deal to blithely deficit-spend until July 2021 proves once and for all that, contrary to every promise made by every Republican in 2016, Donald Trump is a more liberal spender than Barack Obama:
Since President Trump took office, the national debt has grown by more than 10%, from just under $20 trillion to more than $22 trillion. Republicans in Congress have already signed off on a spending package that is 18% higher than under the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, when the GOP railed constantly against the unconscionable rise in debt. Now the Trump White House has crafted a debt-exploding budget deal that will raise discretionary spending by 4% a year. In Obama’s first term, discretionary spending went up by 3% [Sophia Tesfaye, “GOP’s ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ Threaten to Torpedo Trump’s Debt Ceiling Deal,” Salon, 2019.07.24].
Back in the Obama days, the CBO projected the national debt in 2021 might reach $18.2 trillion. We’re already past that, and the Trump Administration is just pouring on more debt faster than President Obama would have allowed.
We have more room to borrow $22 billion more than we currently spend for guns and bombs, but Trump says we can’t afford $2.5 billion to feed three million people:
The Trump administration wants to change the way states determine who qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits, also known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 3 million people would lose their food assistance as a result.
The administration says it wants to close what it calls a “loophole” that allows states to give benefits to those who would not otherwise be eligible by raising or eliminating income and asset limits. Forty states and Washington, D.C., now take advantage of this option and have done so for many years.
“This proposal will not only save money, but more importantly it preserves the integrity of the program while ensuring nutrition assistance programs serve those most in need,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in announcing the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register. His agency estimates the change would likely save $2.5 billion a year.
…”This rule would take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Stabenow noted that Congress refused to include the proposal in last year’s farm bill.
“This proposal is yet another attempt by this administration to circumvent Congress and make harmful changes to nutrition assistance that have been repeatedly rejected on a bipartisan basis,” she said [Pam Pressler, “3 Million Could Lose Food Stamp Benefits Under Trump Administration Proposal,” NPR, 2019.07.23].
All the contempt for humanity but with none of the professed fiscal responsibility—that’s Trump’s America.