Today, the Senate Budget Committee heard testimony on President Trump’s 2018 Budget. Today’s witness was Mick Mulvaney, director of OMB. Each Senator had five minutes to ask questions about the proposed budget. Most Senators chose to make long statements for the cameras. Very few questions asked by either side were made in an attempt to actually understand something that they did not already know.
One of the leading issues raised by the minority party was that Trump assumed 2.9% growth each year for the next 10 years. Almost every Democrat Senator mentioned this issue and how irresponsible it is for Trump to assume such an aggressive growth rate. They argued that if this nation does not experience 2.9% growth each year for the next 10 years that Trump’s budget will not actually balance in 10 years. These Senators found it hard to believe that this nation’s economy can grow at 2.9% each year.
Mulvaney testified that this nation’s average annual growth since the end of World War 2 is just shy of 3.5%. Mulvaney felt that the 2.9% annual growth is a conservative number. Furthermore, he testified that Obama’s first budget assumed 2.9% growth each year for 10 years.
As was made clear throughout the hearing, Trump does not balance his budget solely upon economic growth. Trump’s budget slashes funding to temporary government programs that have expired. For years, Obama’s budgets have funded programs that were supposed to expire on a set date. Mulvaney testified that they have discovered over $310 Billion in Government spending on programs that are no longer authorized by Congress. He testified that many of the cuts Congress is complaining about are from programs that have been expired for many years. Mulvaney said that he cannot justify budgeting money on programs that Congress has not seen fit to renew.
During the hearing, Senator Crapo (ID) asked Mulvaney about regulations. Crapo said that the nation’s regulatory burden is almost as dangerous as the national debt. Mulvaney stated that there is a lot of pent up growth in this country because of the oppressive regulatory environment. Mulvaney mentioned that because of Trump’s executive orders on regulation reform, there has been a huge pause in new regulations. He said that most of the regulators do not know how to reduce regulations. Because of Trump’s efforts, regulators have been forced them to stop regulating and reevaluate everything that they doing. Crapo agreed with Mulvaney that regulatory reform will help create economic growth in this country.
Another area in which Trump sees future savings is in welfare reform. Success will not be determined by how many people are on a government program. Instead, success will be determined by how effective the program is in helping people off of government assistance. Senator Kennedy (LA) stated that there are two types of Americans. He said that there are those who believe in freedom and those who believe in more free stuff. Mulvaney testified that he cannot continue to ask the middle class to pay taxes to fund illegal aliens receiving government benefits or even worse, dead people receiving benefits. Trump will not tolerate government waste.