President Trump on Wednesday may have proposed a 5 percent budget cut across his Cabinet’s departments, but according to former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, it’s not enough to curtail massive spending by the federal government.
“There’s no question that we need to cut spending,” he said on Wednesday during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “Spending is out of control. That’s the major part of our problem. But let’s look at the math: Cutting 5 percent of discretionary spending -- excluding defense -- is less than 1 percent of the federal budget.”
Part of Trump’s “nickel plan” requires each Cabinet department to slash the “fat and waste” in the government by cutting 5 percent from the budget by fiscal-year 2020, but it won’t apply to the military. Congress already approved a defense spending bill in September.
But Walker lambasted the plan for not addressing “mandatory spending” -- things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the federal debt, which he warned would exceed the budget for national defense within the next 10 years. He estimated in total that mandatory spending accounts for about 65 percent of the budget, and costs roughly $2.2 trillion.
“Bottom line is, there is no party of fiscal responsibility in America today,” he said. “And there are too few people who are fiscally responsible. The biggest deficit we have is a leader deficit. The president has to lead, no matter who that person is and what political party they are.”
Trump’s budget request expanded on his earlier “penny plan,” which called on the federal government to cut at least one penny for every dollar spent each year.
“It’s not as tough as you think and frankly there’s a lot of fat in there, but we had to get the military done last time,” Trump told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney in an interview Wednesday.