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 of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will postpone its goal of turning the primary budget balance into a surplus in fiscal 2020, as it aims to use more funds for spending than repaying debts, sources said Wednesday. Abe is expected to announce Monday plans to dissolve the House of Representatives for a snap election and to divert part of additional revenue from the planned consumption tax increase to finance child-rearing support and free education programs, to attract votes, the sources said. A primary budget surplus means the government can finance its spending on policy measures, except for debt-servicing costs, without new debt issuance. According to an estimate by the Cabinet Office, the government is expected to suffer a primary budget deficit of ¥8.2 trillion in fiscal 2020 even if it carries out the planned consumption tax hike from 8 percent to 10 percent in October 2019 and the Japanese economy grows at over 3 percent annually. Dropping the fiscal 2020 budget surplus target, which is an international pledge, clearly indicates the "Abenomics" economic policy seeking both growth and fiscal consolidation has reached a stalemate, critics pointed out.
The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that this year's deficit will hit $897 billion, up 15.1 percent from the $779 billion deficit recorded last year. In the CBO's projections for the next decade, it forecasts that the deficit will once again top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and will never fall below $1 trillion over the rest of the forecast period.
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.