The pre-Christmas spirit of some 30,000 US Department of Homeland Security employees is likely to be subdued this year. Because if your president does not change your mind, they will be the feast of love on the street.
On December 21, three days before Christmas, preliminary funding for the ministry expires. If the US Congress does not decide on a new budget until then, the minister must send unpaid leave to all employees who are not required. The money will also be turned off by the Ministry of Justice and Commerce, Nasa and the Embassies.
Trump has signaled that he wants to make it happen: If the MPs do not give him five billion dollars to build the wall on the border with Mexico, he has threatened in the past, he could veto. The consequence would be the partial „shutdown“, the government deadlock at a number of authorities.
Mexico does not pay
It’s just too annoying for Trump: The Democrats want to push out only 1.6 billion for border security – while he has already scaled down his demand: „Top border security, including the wall, costs $ 25 billion.“ Comes up within two months Done it, „he called via Twitter to Congress in early December. Of the fact that Mexico should pay, as he always stressed earlier, is no longer the question.
For the taxpayers, five billion hardly weighs in the face of a spending bill for fiscal 2018 of $ 1.3 trillion. Under Trump, the US has abandoned any fiscal discipline. The Republicans, who for decades attacked the Democrats as a spendthrift, have willingly followed the president.
In 2018, the deficit increased by 17 percent compared to the previous year. America stands today with 21.2 trillion with its creditors in the chalk. More dramatic than the situation, however, is the dynamics of development. By 2019, the shortfall between revenue and spending is likely to break the one-trillion mark, and if the US does not fundamentally change course, public debt will explode in the coming decades. The rising interest rates are already becoming a burden on the budget. The conservatives‘ hope that stronger economic growth will close the gap has not yet been fulfilled .
What Trump is interested in is the curve of his popularity
Trump, who does not even understand the difference between deficit and debt, has not been interested in this for a long time.
When his advisors pointed out to him in the summer that in a few years the debt curve would skyrocket „like a hockey stick“, that left the US president completely untouched. Trump has just made sure that the critical point is reached after his possible second term, the website reported The Daily Beast. „Yeah,“ he said calmly, „but I will not be here then.“
What Trump is certainly interested in is the curve of his popularity. And even his notorious followers are irritated that the state is growing instead of shrinking.
So it hailed after the passing of the record spending law in the early summer even in its home station Fox criticism. The president was therefore freaked out, reported US media. When the mega-deficit was announced in October, the commander-in-chief issued a hitherto unprecedented order to his surprised team: we must save.
Ministers should submit savings proposals. „We will start repaying the debt, we have a lot of debt,“ Trump said. According to US press reports, all ministries have to reduce their spending by 2020 by five percent. Well, almost all: The Ministry of Defense is apparently only about 2.3 percent shaved.
Trump talks about saving, but above all has ideas for spending money
In fact, employees are likely to despair of the new directive. Although the boss speaks of saving, but even shines especially with ideas for spending money. He warned that health insurance for pensioners and social security should not be overlooked; after all, the programs are also popular among his voters.
At the same time he has proposed another ten percent tax cut for the middle class and wants to rehabilitate America with a billion infrastructure program. Then there is the wall. And because Trump will not be able to pass new laws without the Democratic majority in Congress, compromises will cost extra money.
So where to save? Over the years, the president has come up with many solutions to solve the debt problem. Occurring: taxes on China, Iraqi oil, energy policy, exit from the climate agreement, waste of the authorities, abolish Obamacare, raise or lower interest rates. Print money.
Meanwhile, however, Trump has found the philosopher’s stone: If the US trade deficit falls, then the budget deficit will also fall, he claims. This connection should also be understood by first graders, „that’s how easy it is“. It’s a pity that no one else understood it. spiegel.de/