President Trump on Friday signed two spending packages totaling $1.4 trillion, averting a government shutdown at midnight. The bills included all 12 annual appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year that started Oct. 1. They also included a slew of tax cuts, extending expiring and expired tax breaks and eliminating other taxes that amount to an additional $426 billion in lost revenue, bringing the total cost of the bill to more than $1.8 trillion.Reagan used to complain about “tax&tax and spend&spend” so he replaced it with spend&spend and borrow&borrow. Trump is doing the same but there’s more:
Trump’s signature brings to a close a fraught year for spending. At the same time last year, his refusal to sign a stopgap measure over funding his proposed border wall led to a 35-day shutdown, the longest in the nation’s history. The Democratic majority in the House, which was seated in the midst of the shutdown, left Trump with little to show for the shutdown by way of wall funding. After finally striking a deal to reopen the government in February, Trump proceeded to declare a state of emergency along the Southern border to allow him to reprogram other funds. Not long after, Trump released his annual budget proposal that would have hyper-charged military spending while dramatically cutting domestic spending, slashing more than 20 percent of funds from the EPA, State Department, and Transportation Department, and abolishing funding for popular programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Special Olympics. Congress summarily dismissed the request and ultimately agreed to a deal that would increase spending on both defense and non-defense significantly for both 2020 and 2021. Congressional leaders would need two stopgap measures spanning nearly three months to work out spending allocations, find compromises on controversial issues such as the wall and agree on additional legislation to include in the package.Trump tried to follow the rightwing playbook by paying for the tax cuts for the rich and increases in defense spending by screwing the rest of the Federal budget. Thankfully this failed. But of course that did not keep Trump off the twitter:
I will be signing our 738 Billion Dollar Defense Spending Bill today. It will include 12 weeks Paid Parental Leave, gives our troops a raise, importantly creates the SPACE FORCE, SOUTHERN BORDER WALL FUNDING, repeals “Cadillac Tax” on Health Plans, raises smoking age to 21! BIG!Trump went onto to say that the U.S. has never spent more on defense but of course he is talking about nominal dollars and not inflation adjusted figures. Thankfully we have the BEA and Table 1.1.6. Real Gross Domestic Product, Chained Dollars. In 2012$, defense spending was $861.3 billion in 2010. By 2016 it had fallen to $708.3 billion. Now it had risen to $737.5 billion by 2018 and will likely be over $770 billion this year. But we will nowhere close to $862 billion in 2020 – nor should we be. Of course that did not stop Trump from lying to the troops!