Donald Trump or the art of economic overheating

US President Donald Trump at a meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, Monday, February 10.
US President Donald Trump at a meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, Monday, February 10. JIM WATSON / AFP

The temptation is to sweep the budget proposal presented by Donald Trump on Monday February 10 out of hand: it has no chance of being validated before the presidential election in November. The budget, which comes into force on 1st October of each year is a prerogative of Congress, not of the White House. It is based on growth assumptions deemed unrealistic of 3% (growth was 2.3% in 2019). It is also tempting to caricature it – all for the military, cuts in social programs, and the public deficits which are now 1 trillion dollars a year (916 billion euros, about 5% of the GDP).

All of this is true, but not completely. We will not dwell on long-term projections, not credible, but the text deserves to be examined for what it is: an electoral program, while the popularity rating of the President of the United States has reached 49%, according to the Gallup barometer at the end of January, its highest level since the start of his mandate.

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The "Trump-General-in-Chief"

First appears the "Trump-General-in-Chief". The president maintains the considerable defense effort, but it no longer flies away, with an almost stable budget (+ 0.3%) at $ 740 billion, which notably includes the creation of a force space and a 12% increase in NASA's budget to send man back into space, first on the moon and then on Mars. The US military is expected to invest heavily in its nuclear arsenal and cut its response costs, which is consistent with the Trump doctrine.

Donald Trump has decided to cut non-military spending by 5%, which is a declaration of war on the Democrats

On the civilian scene, then, Donald Trump decided to cut non-military spending by 5% ($ 590 billion), which is a declaration of war on the Democrats, with whom he had agreed in 2019 and for two years. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, immediately attacked the tenant of the White House: "This budget is a declaration of values, and once again the President shows how little value he places on the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families. "

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The project is a little more subtle. Donald Trump does not touch the elderly, protecting their health and retirement systems. However, he made cuts in the retirement of federal civil servants and cut social assistance in a way that satisfied his conservative electorate: he wanted aid recipients to do work in exchange, he wanted to transform part of financial assistance from the Food Stamp Program in food donations.


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