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David Stockman: Trump Budget Plan 'Dead Before Arrival'

(AP/Kathy Willens)

By    |   Friday, 14 April 2017 01:21 PM

Former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman warns that Donald Trump’s budget strategy is “dead before arrival” and harshly criticized the president's tax-cut strategy. 

“Something has happened in the last eight years,” he explained to Fox Business Network.

“Our national debt doubled and Trump has no plan whatsoever to do anything about it, and then to hear this ridiculous press conference where both of them talked about more defense spending …” said Stockman, who was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981–1985) under President Ronald Reagan.

“The Trump budget is ‘DBA,’ which means ‘dead before arrival,” said Stockman, who served as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan (1977–1981).

Trump last month unveiled a $1.15 trillion budget, a far-reaching overhaul of federal government spending that slashes many domestic programs to finance a significant increase in the military and make a down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The budget proposal seeks to upend Washington with cuts to long-promised campaign targets like foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as strong congressional favorites such as medical research, help for homeless veterans and community development grants.

"A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority — because without safety, there can be no prosperity," Trump said in a message accompanying a blueprint copy of Trump's "America First" budget says.

The $54 billion boost for the military is the largest since President Ronald Reagan's Pentagon buildup in the 1980s, promising immediate money for troop readiness, the fight against Islamic State militants and procurement of new ships, fighter jets and other weapons. The 10 percent Pentagon boost is financed by $54 billion in cuts to foreign aid and domestic agencies that had been protected by former President Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Stockman also took to task Trump's tax-cut strategy.

"He has no idea what he is talking about, he's making it up as he goes along," Stockman said in a second Fox Business Network appearance. 

"Donald Trump is a tourist in the Imperial City. He is flipping and flopping and pivoting and making it up as he goes," Stockman said.

"He does not know anything about tax policy," Stockman claimed.

Stockman urged Trump to adopt a  border-adjustment tax or value-added tax to help alleviate financial and economic budgetary pressures.

"The idea we can have a multitrillion dollar tax cut and not pay for it with new revenue or spending cuts is dangerous," he said, pointing out that the national debt "$20 trillion, heading to $30 trillion."

"We are basically borrowing our way to disaster," Stockman said.

Meanwhile, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's tax reform blueprint appears to be losing its status as the likely framework for the first major tax overhaul since 1986, with rival approaches emerging from the White House, Senate and other quarters in Congress.

Congressional aides, lobbyists and analysts say the changing focus could delay passage of a tax bill until late 2017 or 2018, potentially foiling Republican efforts to score a legislative victory for President Donald Trump by August, following last month's failed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare health insurance, Reuters explained.

Like the healthcare bill, the House Republican tax blueprint stems from Ryan's "A Better Way" legislative agenda launched during the 2016 election campaign.

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Former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman warns that President Donald Trump's budget strategy is "dead before arrival."
David, Stockman, Trump, Budget
Friday, 14 April 2017 01:21 PM
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