Trump Demands Deficit Reductions While Also Pushing For More Deficit Spending

Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times/CC BY 2.0

President Trump says he wants to reduce budget deficits while simultaneously calling for new spending.

President Donald Trump simultaneously wants his advisers to find ways to reduce the country’s budget deficits and is asking aides to seek new spending “while ruling out measures needed to address the country’s unbalanced budget”, according to the Washington Post.

Trump’s deficit-reduction directive came last month, after the White House reported a large increase in the deficit for the previous 12 months. The announcement unnerved Republicans and investors, helping fuel a big sell-off in the stock market. Two days after the deficit report, Trump floated a surprise demand to his Cabinet secretaries, asking them to identify steep cuts in their agencies.

This account of Trump’s deficit stance is based on conversations with 10 current and former officials in the White House and Congress. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations or private conversations. The White House has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

[E]ven as he has demanded deficit reduction, Trump has handcuffed his advisers with limits on what measures could be taken. And almost immediately after demanding the cuts from his Cabinet secretaries, Trump suggested that some areas — particularly the military — would be largely spared.

The president has also said Medicare and Social Security — two programs extremely popular among the American people — cannot be touched, though they are two of the government’s most expensive entitlements.

Even as Trump has told aides he’s finally interested in taking steps to reduce deficits, he has floated several ideas that would further expand them. He has proposed a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, a huge package of infrastructure spending and billions of dollars for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He hasn’t specified how he would pay for any of those things.

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