The Talking Dog

December 4, 2016, Numbers are for losers. Sad.


Forbes is reporting that the incoming Trump Administration (best get used to that) just may not bother to submit a budget to Congress despite its legal requirement to do so, To wit,:


So why might the Trump administration want to punt on this major opportunity by not submitting a budget?

First, it would allow Trump to avoid the complaints that always come from those the budget proposals would harm by denying them a platform to criticize the White House. No proposals on paper would mean nothing to disparage.

Second, it would allow the White House to avoid having to say how much its taxing and spending proposals will increase the federal deficit and national debt.

Given that many estimates put the likely annual deficit from the Trump campaign plans at $1 trillion or more and that the total increase in the national debt before the 2020 election could easily equal the borrowing during the first 4 years of the Obama administration, the likelihood that this is a major consideration should not be downplayed. Just think of the value of not having to publish a table that for the first time shows those very high numbers, and not having to answer to the House Freedom Caucus.

Third, it would also eliminate the need for the administration to publish a table with the very optimistic GDP growth promised during the campaign, the high interest rates many economists think are coming and Trumpís unrealistic assumptions on jobs and unemployment.

Fourth, it would eliminate the need for the House and Senate to hold hearings on the Trump budget. That would expedite Congressí consideration of its 2018 budget resolution and the reconciliation process that is widely expected to be used to accelerate the passage of many of Trumpís and the House and Senate GOPís priorities.

Fifth, although there have been a few rumors about possible directors of the Office of Management and Budget, almost a month after Election Day no one has yet been named. That almost certainly will delay the development of the Trump 2018 budget until almost the summer and the GOP congressional leadership might not want to wait that long to begin its work on the all-important 2018 budget resolution and reconciliation.

Finally, because the White House and Congress will be preoccupied until around the end of March with a budget resolution, reconciliation bill and appropriations for 2017 and a new debt ceiling increase, Trump may not have time for the 2018 budget that would have to be developed at that same time. Given that schedule, plus the fact that it will take some time to get the Trump cabinet and subcabinet confirmed, the White House may think that not submitting a 2018 budget and just working with Congress will be its best chance to be successful.

John Cole at Balloon Juice offers the appropriate perspective on just why ("numbers are hard") this might be; and Digby piles on.

I will come back to something Michael Moore observed: a significant element of the electorate in the all important Upper Midwest (the states that gave the Donald the presidency) just wants to blow up the whole system.

It seems that, ahem, Mr. Trump is just giving the people what they want.

Good. And hard.