Trump signs two-year budget deal


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Big spending wins! The new two-year budget deal, which provides increased spending and eliminates the sequestration budget caps, has been signed into law by President Trump.

I know people might think me insane when I say this, but Trump’s comments upon signing the bill remind me of Ronald Reagan when he signed compromise bills with the Democrats that were not what he really wanted. Trump calls it a victory, but also said this:

“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military,” he wrote. “Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!”

Trump continued to praise the bill as a victory, because of the big spending boost to the military. He criticized Democrats for “waste” in the bill. “Costs on non-military lines will never come down if we do not elect more Republicans in the 2018 Election, and beyond,” he said. “This Bill is a BIG VICTORY for our Military, but much waste in order to get Dem votes.”

Though I strongly think we have plenty of waste in the military as well, and that the Defense Department didn’t need any increases and could have been cut considerably, in many ways Trump’s comments here reflect reality. For the American public to get its federal government under control, that public is going to have to vote out the people who presently run it in an uncontrollable manner. And while there are many establishment Republicans to which this description applies, the vast majority of the legislators who are pushing out-of-control spending are Democrats.

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10 comments

  • Localfluff

    Imagine what Donald trump thinks about this as he goes to sleep at night. Him spending more monies? Billion$$$ of these green or golden little cuties. Hmmmarabou…
    – Melania Melania, am I awake now or am I still the president??
    – You will alwayz be my little prezident of the Americas, honey.

  • ken anthony

    People with no skin in the game get to vote on how to spend other people’s money. What could possibly go wrong?

    I used to work for a living and sometimes was even paid well. Now I collect disability and if you doubled my income I’d be right at the poverty line. So you would think I’d be among those calling for more govt. spending… except for one thing: It’s wrong.

    While there is waste in the military it’s the one job that govt. exists to do. I expect there are enough people during the midterms that understand this. The left has broken their outrage motivator by overuse.

  • Cotour

    I am re posting my comment from another subject line because I think it illustrates the Zmans point, reasonable American people promoting Constitutionally focused concepts must join the “battle” and must “WIN”, there is no substitute ! :

    Andrew W:

    I will make this one modification after watching that short part of Petersen’s talk on Winning to better explain my position so you can better understand me. I will place the word “Winning” in brackets and make it specific to politics. When I talk of “Winning” related to the political warfare that humans engage in, specifically related to what is going on in America today I mean “Winning” in the political context and what ever goes along with that, good bad or otherwise.

    Two opposing philosophical sides in both thought and actions related to who and how our government does what it does face off with each other and the public through observing and participating in the erupting contentious conversation weighs and evaluates who and what is best for them and the country as a whole. These battles happen in all of the place that it happens, Local State and Federal, in the media, in schools and in pubs, where ever.

    Let us not be limited or terrified by Petersen’s observation that there are in fact extreme factions, although a small fraction IMO, within both party’s that would happily bring things mindlessly to a physical violence point. I do not in any way encourage violence but I do understand that there are these people exist on both sides.

    The extension of what I believe you are attempting to say is that because there is the real potential for some level of violence or civil disruption that we should all just surrender and compromise even though we also understand that that compromise pushes us further along to the slippery slope of Socialism. I reject that conclusion (If that is what you in deed propose. I do not think that that is what Petersen means either).

    The world is in fact a dangerous place, compromise with Socialism, essentially leading to the Globalization of the planet and the mandatory surrendering of the Constitution and our sovereignty is a non starter for me.

    I hope I have clarified my position related to what I believe your position is.

    The battle rages and the “Winner” will take the political spoils, and thats the way that it should be. These struggles are structured and codified within the Constitution and they are there for a reason which I will further explain if you need or would like.

  • Andrew_W

    Replied to Cotour on the other thread.

  • Tom Billings

    “…the Defense Department didn’t need any increases and could have been cut considerably, …”

    This is only true if we eliminate the agency costs of Congress.

    1.) Most of the costs of DoD are for contracted service salaries and for pensions long since earned.

    2.) What is left to cut are partly equipment purchases and running costs for Fleets and Training Army and AF as well, and for ongoing operations. Maintenance, and stores purchases for munitions takes the rest. Cutting maintenance and training is, at best, counter-productive. Cutting stores means you don’t actually *have* the weapons you would need to fight with or train with.

    3.) What gets complained about is weapons development costs, because that is where congressional agency costs are hidden most deeply. Congress long ago made sure that R&D was the greatest profit center for Defense and Aerospace companies.

    4.) If we look at the difference between SpaceX private funding for development for Falcon Heavy and the public funding of development for SLS, we get a good idea how badly the agency costs of Congress inflate weapons R&D costs.

    This means that the agency costs of Congress are the greatest target for improving the DoD budget. The great problem is that they are also the hardest target to hit hard enough to knock them down. As long as there are about 100 politicians deciding where and how each line item for Defense R&D is spent, we will be dealing with this problem, because it means that we cannot meet the minimum definition for industrial levels of productivity. That minimum practical definition is given by Arnold Toynbee for the industrial revolution:

    “When a society moves from allocating resources by custom and tradition (moderns read here, by politics) to allocating its resources by markets, then it can be said to have undergone an industrial revolution”.

    By this definition, we can see that the biggest reason for high costs of new weaponry for the military is that the resources for that weaponry are allocated almost *completely* by politics!

    “Defense Industry” is a misnomer brought about by assuming that high tech *must* be industrial. This assumption is based in the old progressive ideas that industry is defined by “hunks of stuff” that we have and use. Friedrich Engels’ definition of the industrial revolution is at fault here, because it defined the industrial revolution as being the possession of steam engines, railroads, and mass production lines. It was long ago accepted by academia and by the progressives that ape academia’s opinions. Once we break with that definition of what is industrial and what is not, we can analyze how to build a DoD that can take advantage of the true productivity of industrial society, and achieve costs reduced as much as we expect now from SpaceX and Blue Origin and all their smaller competition in spaceflight.

    What is wanted from the DoD is not the possession of “hunks of stuff”. What is wanted is the defense of the Republic and its interests around the world. That is accomplished only at monstrous expense in weaponry, because of the lack of industrial productivity in developing and delivering it.

    So how do we provide market efficiencies? We create a market within each service branch, in which each major unit (Army Brigades-50 of them, active Naval Fleets-8 of them, AF Component Numbered Air Forces-25 of them, are competing for increase or decrease in their budget in peacetime, and deciding for themselves what equipment will let them do best in that competition. This sort of competition will make each service’s Training and Doctrine Command the most important one, because they will run the competitions and test for joint compatibility within and between services. The Congress will provide a total budget for each Service, or possibly for DoD, but will *not* pick winners and losers in either service competitions or in supplier markets.

    Defense contractors would have to look at a market, instead of being serfs to members of a congressional committee, to decide how they can sell their development products. Thus, we can expect that the same sorts of efficiencies we see emerging in truly private spaceflight companies will begin to emerge in DoD-related weaponry development.

  • wayne

    Tom:
    Good stuff!

  • Laurie

    Well, the entirety of western socioeconomic development is, in some fashion, influenced, shaped, or outright determined by militarism – that is, by the demands of building an ever-greater military.

    Not to be graphic, but to cut it would be tantamount to slitting the system’s wrists. Of course, the alternative is to be utterly consumed by it …

  • Andrew_W

    4.) If we look at the difference between SpaceX private funding for development for Falcon Heavy and the public funding of development for SLS, we get a good idea how badly the agency costs of Congress inflate weapons R&D costs.

    Good thing I read your comment before repeating that part of it. The political system imposes huge costs that a better system would avoid.

  • Cotour

    Doing what he said he would do, 3 trillion in proposed cuts.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/373413-trump-releases-2019-budget

    This morning Trump Tweeted that although he understands that the deal made on the budget was not ideal he pointed out that it is important that the Republicans attain 60 votes in the Senate, and he is exactly correct. Then what really needs to be done can be done without too much compromise.

    As Trump drags the Democrats to agreeing to rewrite the immigration law to not be so skewed to keep the Democrats afloat, which they will fight to the end but must be made to capitulate to. It will be 1.8 million Dreamers V New Immigration Law and wall funding, what will the Democrats do?

    What they are forced to do. Now get it done with ruthless non compromising efficiency.

  • Cotour

    This escalating trade war and building up our military is more why Trump signed the budget bill.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china/trade-dispute-escalates-as-trump-threatens-100-billion-more-in-china-tariffs-idUSKCN1HC1RW

    He knew he was going to set this tariff / trade war off and ultimately America will face China in military terms at some level. These actions were things that the last 4 American administrations were not allowed to do because of the “Globalization” agenda. Those anti / un American days appear to be over?

    IMO the last 4 American presidents, Obama, Bush, Clinton and Daddy Bush, and their vice presidents and a list of democrat and Republican Congressmen and Senators might ideally be relieved of their freedom and a claw back of the millions / billions that they have benefited from because of their stand down attitude related to the Chinese and other anti American forces.

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