Medicare

How Congress might rewrite Trump’s budget
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 103

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are at least eight accountants in Congress. Maybe they can pop the debt balloon
Budgeting and running the numbers is what CPAs do

Back when the bipartisan CPA and Accountants Caucus existed, Sen. Mike Enzi was a member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Whether it is the Green New Deal or a wall along the nation’s southern border, the 2020 presidential race is already teeming with expansive policy proposals and politicians seeking to differentiate themselves from the pack. If there is one theme that unites these proposals, it’s the expense. It’s not easy to excite voters with promises to cut programs, conserve money, or increase taxes.

All the new proposals have their key constituencies, but what about some ideas that speak to all American taxpayers? The ever-increasing national debt is an issue that everyone should care about. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are unlikely to completely solve the problem overnight, there is an easy first step that would send a clear signal to the American people.

Trump acknowledges ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy ‘hurts people’
President also signals that he thought about Boeing’s export business before grounding jets

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally for the president during his visit to see the controversial border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018, San Diego, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted his immigration policies are “hurting people,” and signaled he mulled Boeing’s export business before he bowed to pressure and grounded two models of its 737 airliners after a second deadly crash.

The president’s comments came in response to an Irish reporter in town with his country’s prime minister for annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities at the Capitol and White House. That reporter asked Trump in the Oval Office if he sees his own immigration policies as “cruel.”

Medicare for All and Green New Deal spur Red Scare tactics
Warnings of socialism on the rise again in Congress

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., embodies and supports many of the positions causing Republicans to decry socialism. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly every day the 116th Congress is in session, on average, a Republican member takes to the House or Senate floor and says Democrats are veering toward socialism, warning that their progressive colleagues would lead America down some disastrous path akin to Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela.

The Democrats’ “Green New Deal” approach to climate change, the “Medicare-for-All” retort to Republicans undercutting Obama’s 2010 health care law, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the most visible new member of the House, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have all been painted as examples of a naive and dangerous socialist onslaught that must be repelled.

Trump’s latest self-inflicted wound: Medicare cuts
Attacking Medicare is about as popular as a national program to confiscate kittens

The president is devoted to his MAGA-hatted true believers, but his phantom budget may have cost him more than a few supporters in Rust Belt states, Shapiro writes. Above, people wave their caps at a Trump rally in Michigan in 2018. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Donald Trump’s political problems are almost all rooted in his personality.

The nonstop lying and boasting that have led to a credibility canyon seemingly flow from the president’s fragile ego. His vicious temperament when crossed produces the torrent of below-the-belt Twitter attacks. His apparent inability to trust anyone beyond his immediate family has produced outrages like Jared Kushner’s dubious security clearance. And Trump’s own tough-guy fantasies are probably connected to his hero worship of Vladimir Putin and his avuncular affection for the murderous Kim Jong Un.

Trump leaving budget salesmanship to others, again
Silence comes at time of heightened attention to issues concerning wall, military

For the second consecutive year, President Donald Trump mostly has left selling his budget request to others. This year, acting OMB Director Russell Vought, right, seen here with Government Publishing Office acting Deputy Director Herbert Jackson, has been doing the honors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump often has a lot to say, but what he doesn’t say can be just as illuminating. Take his latest budget proposal. 

The administration is asking Congress to spend $4.7 trillion next year despite the president’s gripes that the federal government is too bloated and spends too much. But so far, Trump is showing zero interest in making the case for his request, which experts say resembles a campaign document as much as one about governing. Trump opted against a public event on Monday, leaving the budget rollout mostly to his acting budget chief, Russell Vought, and surrogates on Capitol Hill and cable news.

Democrats get their very own tea party after all
Tea parties are messy, loud, awkward and definitely not ‘meh,’ as it turns out

Veteran strategists underestimated Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna S. Pressley, Murphy writes. Now Democrats are getting their very own tea party after all. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, you could already see a tea party redux setting itself up for the Democrats in the same the way the original tea party movement had swept the Republicans into power in 2011.

There was the grassroots anger fueling the insurrection. The out-of-nowhere political superstars already gaining traction. And the out-of-power party establishment in Washington looking at the energy coming into their party as their ticket to rise to the majority. But once the tea partiers got to D.C., Republicans’ visions of power didn’t go as planned.

Trump’s HIV plan is bold. But can he back it up?
If the president were serious about ending HIV, he’d stop attacking Medicare and the ACA

When President Donald Trump announced his goal of ending the HIV epidemic, there was a sense of whiplash, Crowley writes. (POOL/Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

OPINION — President Donald Trump surprised many in his State of the Union address when he announced a bold goal of ending the HIV epidemic over the next decade.

It is rare to see HIV at the top of the headlines these days. For the past two years, virtually all of the communities most heavily affected by HIV have been under seemingly unending attack. Whether it is the denigration of people of color, incitement against immigrants, aggressive actions against transgender people, along with other LGBTQ people, and the shaming of women and others seeking to protect access to contraception and reproductive choice, the communities bearing the heaviest burden of HIV often have experienced open hostility from this administration.

2020 Trump budget reflects 2020 Trump re-election themes
White House hopeful Bernie Sanders blasts plan for ‘cruelty’ and ‘broken promises’

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on March 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The budget plan President Donald Trump sent to Congress on Monday reflects the messaging themes that are the early pillars of his re-election campaign.

The $4.7 trillion spending proposal includes increases for things the president uses to fire up his supporters, including a sizable military budget boost and $8.6 billion for his U.S.-Mexico border barrier that could trigger a new government shutdown fight in late September. It also calls for $2.8 trillion in cuts to non-Pentagon programs.

Spending cuts, growth outpace tax cuts, military increases

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.7 trillion budget request for fiscal 2020 that would boost military funding, cut non-defense programs and intensify the partisan fight over a southern border wall.

The tax and spending blueprint calls for saving $2.8 trillion over the coming decade by cutting non-defense discretionary programs, curbing health care costs, imposing tougher work requirements on welfare programs and restructuring federal student loans, among other things.