U.S. President Trump puts extra skinny into his 'skinny budget' | Reuters

By Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON It's not unusual for a newly minted White House to present what's known as a 'skinny budget,' a wish-list of spending requests for Congress and some basic economic projections.However, President Donald Trump's first crack at the budget, released on Thursday, took 'skinny' to a new, anemic level as he laid out his plans for boosting military spending, cutting foreign aid and slashing an array of domestic programs.Spreadsheets are out. Bullet points are in. Weighing in at a mere 53 pages, and containing only four slender tables, Trump's budget put very little meat on the bones for experts hungry to dive into the details of the new administration's fiscal policy.That may make it the skinniest skinny budget, by far, when compared with the 40 years of presidential budgets in transition years tracked by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).When President Jimmy Carter took office, his first budget document was 101 pages, the CRS said

Reuters March 16, 2017 15:41:49 IST
U.S. President Trump puts extra skinny into his 'skinny budget'
| Reuters

US President Trump puts extra skinny into his skinny budget
 Reuters

By Roberta Rampton
| WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON It's not unusual for a newly minted White House to present what's known as a "skinny budget," a wish-list of spending requests for Congress and some basic economic projections.However, President Donald Trump's first crack at the budget, released on Thursday, took "skinny" to a new, anemic level as he laid out his plans for boosting military spending, cutting foreign aid and slashing an array of domestic programs.Spreadsheets are out. Bullet points are in. Weighing in at a mere 53 pages, and containing only four slender tables, Trump's budget put very little meat on the bones for experts hungry to dive into the details of the new administration's fiscal policy.That may make it the skinniest skinny budget, by far, when compared with the 40 years of presidential budgets in transition years tracked by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).When President Jimmy Carter took office, his first budget document was 101 pages, the CRS said.

President George H.W. Bush's first take was 193 pages, and President George W. Bush's was around the same length, at 207 pages.President Bill Clinton's first budget document was 145 pages, while President Barack Obama's initial take was a leaner 134 pages.The difference is in focus. Trump's budget looks only at "discretionary" programs for the year ahead, accounting for only about a third of the overall budget.

It makes no assumptions about "mandatory" spending on programs like Social Security or Medicare, says nothing about spending beyond fiscal 2018, and gives no projections about how promised tax cuts and infrastructure spending might affect the nation's bottom line."This is a budget blueprint, not a complete budget," said Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney, ahead of its release, promising a full buffet of data, forecasts, and details in the full budget in mid-May.To be sure, budget experts were not expecting a hefty document. The Trump administration had hinted it would be on the thin side of skinny.

"It could be emaciated," Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan budget reform advocacy group, said in an interview on Tuesday."At some point, you've got to put your cards on the table, and show some numbers," Bixby said.Kenneth Baer, a former associate director in Obama's Office of Management and Budget, said an overly skinny budget would make it hard to interpret how the Trump administration would spend taxpayers' money. "It's sort of like building a house, but only putting up the front door," Baer said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Paul Tait)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.