Donald Trump is often described as an “unconventional” candidate. When it comes to the federal budget, however, his campaign promises are entirely too conventional.
Some candidates deny the necessity of reforming popular entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Some candidates propose enormous tax cuts without credible proposals to cut enough spending to prevent this from worsening the debt.
Some candidates make exaggerated claims for how much waste, fraud and abuse they will cut and how much savings that would achieve.
Some candidates make exaggerated claims for the economic growth their policies will produce.
The Republican front-runner, however, does all of the above -- while simultaneously promising to somehow balance the budget.
Let’s begin with Social Security and Medicare. These two important programs already comprise nearly 40 percent of the federal budget and are the biggest contributors to projected spending growth aside from interest on the debt.
According to the programs’ trustees, “Social Security as a whole as well as Medicare cannot sustain projected long-run program costs under currently scheduled financing. Lawmakers should take action sooner rather than later to...