By Andrew Taylor
WASHINGTON — A new government analysis of President Donald Trump’s budget plan says it wouldn’t come close to balancing the federal ledger like the White House has promised.
Thursday’s Congressional Budget Office report says that Trump’s budget, if followed to the letter, would result in a $720 billion deficit at the end of 10 years instead of the slight surplus promised.
CBO said Trump’s budget would reduce the deficit by a total of $3.3 trillion over 10 years instead of the $5.6 trillion deficit cut promised by the White House. The nonpartisan scorekeeper estimated that deficits in each of the coming 10 years will exceed the $585 billion in red ink posted last year.
CBO says that Trump relied on far too optimistic predictions of economic growth and that Trump’s rosy projections are the chief reason his budget doesn’t balance as promised.
“Nearly all of that (deficit) difference arises because the administration projects higher revenue projections — stemming mainly from a projection of faster economic growth,” CBO said.
Trump’s budget predicts that the U.S. economy will soon ramp up to annual growth in gross domestic product of 3 percent; CBO’s long-term projections predict annual GDP growth averaging 1.9 percent.
Trump’s May budget submission proposed jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net for the poor and a swath of other domestic programs. Many of its recommendations were deemed dead on arrival and are being ignored by Republicans controlling Congress.