President Donald Trump asserted during his weekly address that his administration's budget for fiscal year 2018 would spur the strongest economic growth in decades.
On May 26, Trump addressed the nation from abroad during his first foreign trip as president. During his remarks, the commander-in-chief commented on his administration's 2018 budget, which he first unveiled on May 23, for the first time, The Hill reports.
"We will grow our economy," Trump said in his weekly address. "It is growing already. It will grow faster than you've seen it in decades."
"The budget we are proposing will reverse economic stagnation and build the path to millions of new jobs for American workers," the president added.
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The Trump administration budget calls for dramatic reductions during the next 10 years. The blueprint would reduce discretionary spending by 2 percent annually. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, asserted that the Trump budget would transform the national deficit into a surplus of $16 billion by 2027, The New York Times reports.
The Trump budget also calls for increasing the defense budget by $469 billion over the next decade. Trump asserted in his address that this was necessary for economic growth.
"The big thing for me is economic growth, which is not possible without safety and security," Trump said, The Hill reports. "That is why our budget reverses years of cuts to our military, which have made us less safe in a more dangerous world."
The president concluded: "We need a government that spends on the right things, the safety security and well-being of our people ... You’re going to love the end result."
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The Trump budget's goal of bridging the deficit hinges on the presumption that its proposals would help grow the U.S. gross domestic product to 3 percent annually and sustain it by 2022. The Congressional Budget Office had projected that U.S. GDP could grow to 1.9 percent, at best.
On May 22, Mulvaney blasted the CBO estimate while unveiling the Trump budget.
"The CBO assumes that we'll never grow at more than 1.9 percent again," Mulvaney said, according to The New York Times. "That assumes a pessimism about America, about the economy, about its people, about its culture that we refuse to accept."
Former OMB director David Stockman of the Reagan administration described Mulvaney's projections of 3 percent growth as fanciful.
"I see no way that's going to remotely happen," Stockman said. "It assumes you're going to go 206 months without a recession, which has never happened."
Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center was equally unimpressed by the Trump budget's growth estimates.
"Without violating some of the most basic laws of economics and history, we are not going to get the kind of growth that will yield a balanced budget in 10 years," Bell, who is also a former staff director at the Senate Budget Committee, said.
Critics of the Trump budget have also voiced concern about its proposal to reduce spending by $3.6 trillion by 2027, which would include dramatic cuts to social programs.
On May 26, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blasted the Trump budget during a commencement speech at Wellesley College, Massachusetts.
"Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington," Clinton told the graduating class, according to Reuters. "It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us. It grossly underfunds public education, mental health and even efforts to combat the opioid epidemic."