President Trump has, for now, given up on balancing the federal budget in the next ten years – and Congress is to blame, his budget director said Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters that legislators "didn't make any of the large structural changes" he said last year were needed if the administration were to have a chance of reining in the federal deficit. At his confirmation hearing in January 2017, Mulvaney called for "fundamental changes" in the way "Washington spends and taxes." Instead of following his advice, Mulvaney said Monday, Congress "pounded the hell out of me." Unlike last year's budget plan, the fiscal 2019 blueprint unveiled by the Trump administration on Monday does not seek to balance the budget over the next decade.
The Trump White House is proposing to cut $18 billion from a variety of domestic programs and foreign aid accounts in ongoing talks on a wrap-up spending package for the ongoing 2017 budget year. The cuts -- to education, infrastructure, medical and scientific research, and numerous grants to state and local governments -- are in addition to cuts proposed earlier in the month for the upcoming budget year.
The government plans to compile a record-high general account budget of around ¥97.45 trillion ($830 billion) for fiscal 2017 starting April, legislative sources said Monday, with social security costs accounting for roughly a third of all spending. With the population aging rapidly, the initial budget is expected to break the record for a fifth consecutive year, following the record ¥96.72 trillion budget in fiscal 2016. Some ¥32.47 trillion will be allocated for social security, according to the sources. The Cabinet is expected to approve the fiscal 2017 initial budget on Thursday. Issuance of new government bonds will likely come to ¥34.37 trillion, down ¥60 billion from the initial budget for the year through March, as the government expects tax revenue to grow in fiscal 2017.
Preliminary budget documents obtained by The Washington Post show the Trump administration is considering more than $6 billion in cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The newspaper reports that the preliminary budget would slash nearly $2 billion from funds dedicated to public housing. It would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant Program, which funds local improvement efforts and anti-poverty programs. Programs that help fund housing for homeless veterans, disabled people and the elderly would also face substantial cuts. The Post reports that HUD's overall budget would be cut by about 14 percent, to $40.5 billion in fiscal 2018.
In one of his last acts as governor, Walker last month signed into law three bills passed by Republicans in a lame-duck session that weaken powers of Evers and incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. But Walker pointed out that Evers' veto authority -- as defined in the state constitution -- remained powerful and unchanged. Evers, like Walker, can partially veto spending items in the budget. That means he could sign into law some parts of the budget and reject others.