Gotta start somewhere
Or does government only grow?
WITH friends like these . . . . Some Americans were pleasantly surprised when a president, any president, showed a willingness to slow the growth of government, perhaps even—gasp!—cut federal spending. That’s what the stillnew president suggested in his budget plan recently released.
Of course, as with any presidential budget, it was declared dead on arrival when Congress took its first look. But when the plan was first released, it was mostly the Democratic Party in vocal opposition. Now, President Trump has his own party to steer around, too.
So far, two House committees in Washington have said no to certain cuts. Unanimously. In somewhat of an understatement, the AP said the votes showed “the depth of opposition to Trump’s budget plan to make widespread cuts at most domestic agencies.” Ya think?
No president ever gets all he wants in his budget, mainly because it’s not his budget, but We the People’s, with a constitutional assist from Congress. But the nation has got to start somewhere. Every day this country ticks closer to a $20 trillion debt. That is, if we didn’t go past the magic number last night.
The president, for one example, has proposed a 10 percent cut in domestic programs and foreign aid. Instead, those House members in his own party say they’d rather see cuts closer to 1 percent.
Democrats, for their part, love the friction. As one Democratic representative from Maine put it, Republicans should be praised for “basically ignoring most of the cuts in the president’s budget.”
That’s one way to look at it. Another way to look at it: It’s disappointing to see President Trump’s bold plan for reducing the size of the Washington, D.C., bureaucracy get so little support among House Republicans. If Republicans can’t do anything about the size of government while holding both houses of Congress and the presidency, it looks as though there is little hope of government doing anything but growing, growing and growing some more.
Certainly, few people really thought the president could cut food stamps or the Corps of Engineers as much as he had planned. But if the Congress is going to reject every cut, or limit any cuts to 1 percent or less, the whole exercise looks more like spinning wheels: lots of noise, but going nowhere.
And one day, there’ll come a time to pay.