Here Are The Top 5 Questions About Trump’s New Domestic Spending Cut Plan

&l;p&g;&l;img class=&q;dam-image getty size-large wp-image-955716722&q; src=&q;×0.jpg?fit=scale&q; data-height=&q;640&q; data-width=&q;960&q;&g; JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

A quick update to &l;a href=&q;;&g;my column from Sunday&l;/a&g; about the Trump &q;rescission&q; proposal released late yesterday.

&l;strong&g;1. Why Did It Take The Trump Administration Seven Weeks To Come Up With Something This Insignificant?&l;/strong&g;

This proposal is virtually meaningless as a percentage of almost anything. Even if Congress surprisingly agreed to the full $15 billion (compared to the $11 billion that had been expected), the Trump plan would have no significant impact on total spending, total domestic spending, the deficit or the national debt.

And given that the president started to rail about the need for domestic spending reductions when he signed the fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriation almost seven weeks ago, why did it take the White House and Office of Management and Budget this long to develop a plan that is so trifling?

&l;strong&g;2. Why Wasn&s;t It Released With Any Fanfare?&l;/strong&g;

The size of the plan is almost less significant than the fact that it was announced very late on Monday in a way that was almost certain to garner little media attention.

Also, as you can see from these three articles (&l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;here&l;/a&g;,&a;nbsp;&l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;here&l;/a&g;&a;nbsp;and &l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;here&l;/a&g;), no senior Trump administration official was willing to be quoted by name. That gives you the clear sense that the Trump administration isn&s;t at all excited by or really committed to this new domestic spending cut plan. Just like the Trump 2019 budget that hasn&s;t been mentioned by the White House almost since it was released earlier this year, the just-announced rescission plan may never be heard from again.

&l;strong&g;3. Why Doesn&s;t It Really Reduce The Deficit?&l;/strong&g;

A &q;senior administration official&q; said that the legal authority to spend most of these funds had already expired and that the so-called cuts weren&s;t going to have an impact on the deficit anyway. In other words, this was the Trump equivalent of what a company does when it tries to take credit for eliminating 100 jobs but then admits that they are all already vacant and there be no actual savings.

&l;!–donotpaginate–&g;&l;strong&g;4. Are More Rescissions Coming?&l;/strong&g;

The White House and it&s;s House Freedom Caucus allies have been saying that the plan released yesterday is just the first of many this year. That&s;s unlikely for two reasons. First, as I explained on Sunday, the House and Senate won&s;t have enough time to review and approve any additional proposed rescissions before the 45-day deadline set in the Congressional Budget Act for each rescission proposal expires. Second (see #5 below), the White House is very likely to feel that this first plan provides GOP anti-spenders with all the political cover they need to claim they are being fiscally responsible before the election this November.

&l;strong&g;5. Was This Really Just Federal Budget Sop To House Republicans And Fox Commentators?&l;/strong&g;

Almost certainly.&l;/p&g;

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