During the 2016 race for the White House, Donald Trump laid out some very ambitious spending proposals which included:
- A $1 trillion infrastructure package
- $5 trillion in tax cuts
- An increase in military spending
- The repeal Obamacare, which could well cost more than $350 billion over 10 years
Trump also promised “not to touch” Medicare or Social Security, even though Congressional Republicans have been salivating for years over the idea of privatizing both safety net programs.
While it’s certainly safe to say that the President-elect has big dreams, those dreams may turn into nothing more than hazy fantasies if some GOP members of Congress have their way. Many are already saying they don’t relish the fact that they are faced with raising the nation’s $20 trillion borrowing limit sometime in March of next year.
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake commented:
“I was disappointed that it wasn’t brought up in the campaign — anybody’s campaign really — it really wasn’t mentioned. So I’m very concerned about it. It’s going to be tough to address if there’s no push from outside of the Congress. I’m very concerned about it. It’s the biggest problem we face, by far.”
Pressure from conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation is also causing members of Congress to sound warnings about increased spending. Michael Sargent, a research associate at Heritage noted:
“We did not hear anything about entitlement reform from either of the candidates, and that’s a serious issue. You cannot address the growth in spending without addressing entitlement issues.”
But can you possibly imagine how AARP and the nation’s senior citizens–many of whom voted for Trump–will holler if either Social Security or Medicare are placed on the chopping block? There would be people marching in the streets with torches and pitchforks in their hands.
And while infrastructure spending may sound good in that it has the promise of creating jobs, Arkansas Senator John Boozman said rebuilding roads and bridges will first be considered in light of how they impact the national debt:
“In regard to infrastructure and the things that have been talked about, nobody really knows the details. As we talk about them, our conference will be very concerned about how they affect both the debt and the deficit.”
Welcome to Washington, President Trump! Looks like your plans may wind up being obstructed just like President Obama’s have been for eight years. How’s that make you feel?
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