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Don’t Let Trump’s Budget Proposal Be Used to Distract You From the Real Spenders

By Thomas L. Knapp | Garrison Center | February 15, 2020

As a political junkie, I get lots of email pleas from politicians and political advocacy groups. Today, I got one from US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Well, not exactly. That’s what the “from” header said, but the message was signed “Team AOC” and delivered via Daily Kos.

What does Team AOC want me to know? That “Donald Trump is robbing the working and middle class to give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest among us.” His latest budget proposal, they say, “is a classic right-wing plan that would gut our most critical social programs.”

I probably dislike Trump’s budget proposal as much as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does, if not more, and if not for all  the same reasons. It asks Congress for way too much, and way too much of what it asks for is corporate welfare for arms manufacturers in the guise of “defense.”

But Team AOC wants me to do more than dislike it. They want me to take it seriously, so that I donate money to help them “fight” it.

I don’t take it seriously. I dislike it in the same way I like a bad movie or a poorly written novel. It’s fiction, and not particularly entertaining fiction.

As Peter Suderman writes at Reason, “[t]he president’s annual budget proposal has about as much impact on the budget process as the lunch menu in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria, possibly less, given that one actually impacts the disposition of sitting members of Congress.”

For nearly a century, under the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the president has been required by law to submit an annual budget request.

And for nearly a century, Congress has felt free to ignore that budget request.

In theory, Trump can ask for anything and everything he might, in his wildest dreams, want.

As a practical matter, since the Democrats control the US House of Representatives, he gets whatever the Democratic Party decides to let him have.

Yes, he can veto what they offer. Yes, the two sides can dig in, triggering a “government shutdown” that’s more dramatic production than true crisis.

But when the smoke clears, the president gets not one thin dime to spend unless Congress appropriates it. That was true when big-spending Republicans controlled Congress during the Obama years, and it’s true now.

Don’t let Congress con you. They, not the president, are  responsible for government spending, deficits, and debt.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (

February 15, 2020 - Posted by | Deception |


    When it comes to war, killing and stealing oil the president can spend billions without so called “Congress”.
    Do you think Bush jr. had to ask for money to destroy Afghanistan and iraq or did Obama have to ask for his fake war on Syria. BTW: Trump’s killing an Iranian general they had lured to Iraq on the pretext of peace negotiations is just as murderous as Obama killing a US citizen and Muslim cleric and his son by droning.
    How do you think we got to 22 TRILLION in debt just because of the false flag 911?? Congress only uses it’s war powers after the fact of war.
    The next big lie will be about how the Dems will stop the president from cutting SS and Medicare. Theater of the absurd designed just for the stupid morons, that comprise at least 75% of the population, by a criminal enterprise trying to disquise itself as a democracy.


    Comment by wil Rodx | February 16, 2020 | Reply

  2. “I probably dislike Trump’s budget proposal as much as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does, if not more, and if not for all the same reasons.” “I dislike it in the same way I (like?) a bad movie or a poorly written novel.”
    Good to know that your politics are about your own personal “likes” and “dislikes” and nothing about the reality of a government that doesn’t obey tha Constitution and lies about it.
    You should restrict your “likes” and “dislikes” to the stupid social media world. That’s where bullshit is the lanquage.


    Comment by Wil Rodx | February 16, 2020 | Reply

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