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With the federal budget deficit reaching $779 billion, President Donald Trump is asking Cabinet members to cut spending in their departments by 5 percent next fiscal year.
Because such trimming is hardly slashing the total budget, however, some experts question whether that even will make a difference in fiscal 2020, which will begin Oct. 1, 2019.
The national debt is more than $21 trillion.
“We’re going to ask every Cabinet secretary to cut 5 percent for next year,” Trump said Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting.
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The president, asked about increases in defense spending, said: “The military was falling apart, it was depleted, it was in very bad shape.”
Congress approved an increase in the military budget to $716 billion for fiscal 2019, but there will be a cut, Trump said, “probably” to $700 billion, for fiscal 2020.
Budget - Deficit - Percent - Increase - Spending
Given the $779 billion budget deficit, and a 13 percent increase in discretionary spending from 2017 to 2018, each department should be able to cut 5 percent, said Justin Bogie, senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs for The Heritage Foundation.
Federal spending is also set to increase by more than 3 percent from 2018 to 2019. Congress and federal agencies should adhere to the 2011 Budget Control Act, which limits the growth in spending, Bogie said.
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“Congress should stick to the current discretionary budget caps and, moving forward, should look to implement a cap on all spending,” Bogie told The Daily Signal. “We support defense spending to the level needed. But if you increase it, you should find a way to pay for it through cuts elsewhere.”
The president acknowledged that some fiscal hawks likely won’t believe a 5 percent cut is enough.
“Some will say I...
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