by Jonathan Decker
The release of President Donald Trump’s budget last week set off a bipartisan outrage that gave new meaning to the phrase “March Madness.” As beltway bureaucrats come to terms with the fact that President Trump is actually determined to shrink the size of government, the rest of America is celebrating a budget that would lead to soaring job creation.
As The Washington Post noted, President Trump’s budget calls for “a historic contraction of the federal workforce.” If enacted, Trump’s budget “would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II.”
The explosion of job creation that would take place under Trump’s budget is evidenced by a new study from the Phoenix Center. The Phoenix Center found that the average federal regulator destroys 138 private sector jobs and that a mere 10 percent reduction in the regulatory state would add $244 billion to our economy. Under Trump’s budget, federal agencies including the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture, and the State Department each face cuts of greater than 20 percent. The EPA faces cuts in excess of 30 percent. As the Phoenix Center shows, the simple act of reducing DC’s bloated bureaucracies will lead to more jobs.
What has made the spectacle of President Trump’s budget so entertaining is that even Republicans are throwing shade at it. Clearly, a budget that dramatically cuts the size of the federal government is kryptonite to Senators McCain, Graham, and Rubio. (It seems like just yesterday they were warning us Trump was no conservative…) To be fair, this Republican opposition is (at least cloaked) in protecting funding for their sacred cow — the State Department. However, my guess is that an agency spending thousands of dollars each year on yoga classes for employees can somehow find room in its budget for cuts.
The arguments embraced by Republicans and Democrats attacking Trump’s budget border on hysterical. Donald Trump’s proposal to defund the National Endowment for the Arts caused Neil deGrasse Tyson to tweet:
We can all imagine a land that provides no support for Art. But is that a place you’d want to Live? To Visit? To Play?
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 19, 2017
I don’t have a PhD from Columbia, but I am willing to bet that art will still exist in 2018 and beyond, even without the NEA. Of course, if art exhibits such as “Piss Christ” (don’t google it) struggle to receive funding without taxpayer dollars, I suppose I’m willing to stomach that cultural loss.
And if the Department of Interior needs help figuring out where to trim fat to meet the 11.7 percent spending cut that President Trump called for, please allow me to be of service! How about we start by eliminating the nearly $150,000 the National Park Service spent researching Bigfoot, sea monsters, and other mythical beings? If this initiative is not on the chopping block, I hope they at least award me the contract. Hunting Bigfoot sounds like way more fun than writing economics columns.
Finally, President Trump’s budget faces backlash from those such as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias who believe Trump’s research cuts will flat line scientific progress. His impassioned defense of taxpayer-funded scientific research would lead one to think that Washington, D.C., was driving all technological innovation in the U.S., rather than Silicon Valley. Perhaps Yglesias feels he got a good return on investment with the $1.3 million the National Science Foundation spent researching if koozies keep beer colder. (Great news, they do!)
President Trump’s proposal significantly lessens the federal government’s burden on our economy. To Republicans who claimed that Trump wasn’t a conservative — this budget has called your bluff. It’s time for “the People’s House” to show its commitment to reducing the size of government bigly by passing this budget immediately.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore