June 25, 2017

Trump’s First Budget Proposals Leave Much Unanswered

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition expressed disappointment today that President Trump’s initial set of budget proposals does not include any deficit reduction or an overall deficit-reduction target for the coming years and focuses only on the third of the budget subject to annual appropriation.

“This so-called ‘skinny budget’ for Fiscal 2018 takes on the federal bureaucracy but does not take on the debt,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition. “It leaves many key questions about Trump’s policy priorities unanswered. Essentially all that today’s numbers tell us is that the president wants to spend more on defense and less on domestic programs in a way that doesn’t increase the deficit. But despite all the talk about downsizing government, the outline released today would not actually reduce spending.”

Among the unanswered questions about the administration’s fiscal policy: President Trump has emphasized his commitment to a massive infrastructure program, yet this document actually calls for cuts in regular transportation spending and says that the administration is not yet prepared to release details of the infrastructure program. Major campaign promises such as tax cuts and the full costs of building a border wall were also not included.

The administration promised that a full budget this spring would cover taxes and mandatory spending such as Social Security and Medicare, as well as “a full fiscal path.”

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in today’s message to Congress: "Our $20 trillion national debt is a crisis, not just for the Nation, but for every citizen. Each American’s share of this debt is more than $60,000 and growing.”

While the “skinny budget” does not include any major proposals to address that very problem, The Concord Coalition urges the Trump administration to include in its full budget a plan to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path.

Media Contact: Steve Winn, swinn@concordcoalition.org, (703) 254-7828

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The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC