by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
That quote comes from President Trump, who is telling his Cabinet secretaries to cut 5% from their budgets due to the ballooning federal deficit. It’s about time the president focused on spending. I’ve supported his efforts to cut regulations and to ensure new Supreme Court justices respect the constitution, but I’ve also questioned his unwillingness to attack spending, led by unchecked entitlement growth.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will ask each of his Cabinet secretaries to cut 5 percent of their respective budgets, shortly after he pledged to reduce spending and lower the U.S. budget deficit.
“We’re going to be asking for a 5 percent cut from every secretary today,” Trump told reporters at the White House in advance of a meeting with those secretaries.
The proposal comes days after the Trump administration announced a $779 billion budget deficit for fiscal 2018 — a six-year high and a 17 percent jump from the previous fiscal year.
“He’s asking them to cut the fraud, the waste, the abuse,” White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox Business Network. “Cut the fat, not the essentials.”
Think about your own household budget. Five dollars of every $100. That’s what the president says he expects. If you’re not able to refrain from spending $5 of every $100 in your checkbook, you’re in trouble. Let’s hope the president is serious about focusing on spending. My preference is NOT for across-the-board cuts of 5%, but for zeroing in on bloated, duplicative, and/or unnecessary spending. At least this is a start. There are prudent models to follow, as our Becki Gray points out, where legislative leaders have for several years done a good job of keeping a check on the growth in state spending. Now we wait and see if the president enforces his dictate.