We Should All Be As Blindly Optimistic As President Trump

The first Trumponomics budget is full of big, beautiful and literally unbelievable numbers.
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President Trump’s first budget—like his first healthcare plan and first tax overhaul proposal—has essentially zerochance of becoming law. Outside of the potentially addled brain of Office of Management and Budget chief Mick Mulvaney, it makes no sense financially, less sense mathematically and somehow even less sense still politically. It is almost so easy to ridicule as to take the sport out of it. At the same time, it is so full of rosy optimism amidst the carnage Trump imagines in his own addled brain and the carnage his plans would actually wreak, its breathtaking schizophrenia surely bears some further analysis.

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Many have taken issue with Trump’s often-repeated insistence that his policies would drive sustained 3% economic growth, on account of it being more or less impossible to achieve. But the budget doubles down on it, because, as Mulvaney said, assuming anything less would be “sad.” Two trillion of the dollars needed to pay for Trump’s budget are a factor of wishful thinking.

The same reality-independent accounting continues on Dodd-Frank. Trump has promised to “do a number” on the post-crisis financial regulatory overhaul. Unfortunately, his numbers of the Congressional Budget Office’s numbers don’t quite add up.

U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed budget estimates that the federal government could save $35 billion over the next decade by rolling back regulations governing Wall Street….

The White House's projected savings from easing financial rules exceed estimates offered by the Congressional Budget Office. That policy scorekeeper calculated that $24 billion would be saved over a decade if a broad Dodd-Frank rollback bill currently in the House of Representatives were passed.

And, of course, that’s a pretty big if, because the Trump administration hasn’t managed to get, well, anything passed.

White House budget envisions massive savings from Dodd-Frank rollback [Reuters]
Trump’s 3% Growth Target Looks Out of Reach [WSJ]
Republicans Will Reject Trump’s Budget, but Still Try to Impose Austerity [NYT]
Bipartisan Pushback Greets Trump’s Proposed Budget [WSJ]
Trump Budget Based on $2 Trillion Math Error [New York magazine]
Trump releases budget hitting his own voters hardest [Politico]

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