To govern is to choose. And in his upcoming budget submission, President Trump has made his choice: He is going to keep the promises he made on the campaign trail and govern as a man determined to Make America Great Again, even if it drives the left crazy.
White House officials briefing reporters on Monday revealed that the President’s initial budget submission will significantly increase defense spending - a 10 percent, $54 billion increase - even as it reduces spending on “lower priority” programs, principally in the domestic discretionary spending category.
Left untouched for now are the three major entitlement programs - Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
This should surprise no one. In his first month in office, President Trump has made clear he is not the typical politician. He actually meant what he said on the campaign trail, he intends to follow through, and - perhaps most importantly - he has surrounded himself with staff, many with little prior government experience, who are determined to help him keep his promises.
When he said he was going to implement “extreme vetting” for immigrants from dangerous countries to better secure the nation against the threat of terrorism, he meant it.
When he said he was going to build a wall on the southern border to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants, he meant it.
When he said he was going to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and reform U.S. trade policies to prioritize American workers and manufacturing, he meant it.
What rankles the media and the Democrats, of course, isn’t that he made the promises in the first place; it’s that he’s actually following through on them. Democrats and the media are much more used to dealing with GOP politicians who promise one thing on the campaign trail, then “forget” those promises when they get to Washington.
So now we get to the budget, the place where campaign rhetoric meets the hard reality of governing. Resources are not infinite, and that means choices must be made - increase spending here, reduce spending there. This is the place where some Democrats had held out the hope that, once in office, once briefed on the realities and responsibilities of the vast array of the federal Leviathan, the new President would flinch.
Donald Trump does not flinch. Have they learned nothing?
The President recognizes that with a $20 trillion debt, he cannot simply add to the nation’s debt if he wants to increase defense spending. So he has instructed his subordinates to find savings in domestic programs equal to his proposed defense increases.
This is simple math. It’s the same kind of math every American family does on its kitchen table when figuring out how to pay for a child’s braces, or a new washing machine, or an unexpected car repair.
American families live on a budget. They don’t have the luxury of simply going deeper into debt when new spending priorities need to be addressed. And they cannot understand why the federal government doesn’t operate the same way.
In that sense, the fact that President Trump has no prior political experience makes him much more like the average American family than like the politicians in Washington who have nearly bankrupted our country by refusing to make hard choices. Is it any wonder his supporters are so determined to help him succeed?
At Tea Party Patriots - which celebrates its eighth birthday this week - we’re doing what we can to support President Trump as he works to fulfill his Contract with the American Voter.
We’re hosting house parties, and showing up at town hall meetings, and calling our members of Congress to urge support for the Trump agenda. Later this month, on March 15, we’ll be co-hosting a rally on Capitol Hill.
We believe the time has come for Washington to get its priorities straight, and we’re now experienced enough to understand that the budget document - the basic guideline for spending - is the nuts-and-bolts representation of the choices we have to make.
President Trump’s thinking is right. We need to spend more on defense, and less on lower priority domestic programs. We simply cannot afford to do otherwise.
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