President Donald Trump has improved America on many fronts including economy, trade and national security, but one issue he hasn’t tackled is America’s crippling debt. The debt continues to swell under Trump, and he is freezing pay raises for federal employees as a first step to tackle this problem.
“I have determined that for 2019, both across‑the‑board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero,” Trump wrote in a letter addressed to House and Senate leaders. “These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well‑qualified Federal workforce.”
Trump claimed in his letter that a 25.7-percent raise in pay for localities combined with a 2.1-percent increase in pay across-the-board would add billions to the federal deficit.
“We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump wrote.
This is a small step in the right direction when it comes to the problem of imprudent federal spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit could hit an astronomical $1.5 trillion by 2028. Trump’s $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut legislation combined with a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill have only added to the problem.
As a result of this growing fiscal nightmare, many conservative economists – including Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman – are predicting doom.
“These tax cuts are going to add to the deficit in the 10th year of an expansion. It’s just irresponsible crazy… There are some huge surprises lurking out there because we’ve had eight years of monetary expansion that is just off the charts of history,” Stockman said to CNBC.
“When the catalyst finally comes, it’s hard to say,” he said. “No one can ever define what the black swan is because that is why it’s called a black swan.”
Trump will have his work cut out for him fixing the massive structural problems that he inherited from his predecessors, but cutting federal stooges down to size is a decent start.