The proposed budget for 2021 presented by the American president, Monday, February 10, is a clever mixture of powder in the eyes and lies. After him, the flood …
“Who cares anything about the budget?” ” That’s what Donald Trump said in January, in an audio recording that has leaked. And this is what he is about to prove once again, Monday, February 10, by presenting a carnival budget for 2021. Broken promises, baroque accounting, impossible objectives… Sprinkle with a good dose of lies, and you have Trump’s mantra for the November 3 election: “The economy is going well thanks to me. ”
Better to say: despite himself. Trump has promised to eliminate $ 20 trillion in federal debt in eight years; on the contrary, it has already increased by 3,000 billion . He swore that the federal deficit would no longer exist in ten years; it has almost doubled since 2016, going from 585 billion to more than 1,000 billion , and this in a full-employment economy – the unemployment rate is close to its lowest level in fifty years, at 3.6%.
How is it possible ? In 2017, Trump predicted that his mega gifts to the wealthy and businesses would create so much growth that they would have zero impact on the deficit. Its 2017 budget expected growth to accelerate to 3% in 2021; in fact, the U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018 before slowing to 2.3% in 2019 and will be even weaker this year if projections are to be believed – the International Monetary Fund thus anticipates a further slowdown, to 2%. The budget coke rail of 2017 has indeed been snorted, back to reality.
Tax revenue has not followed: it represents only 16.4% of GDP, against 17.4% from Obama. This will not work out if the economy remains in good health, with an annual deficit of almost 5% of GDP, and one dares not imagine what will happen in the next recession.
Inequalities are increasing
True to his “after the flood” philosophy, Trump balks. He has opened the budgetary gates so much and multiplied the gifts to the “top 1%” that he makes the cynical calculation that there will be something for everyone – hear, even the most modest will receive enough crumbs to be satisfied. This is what he said, Wednesday, February 5, during the State of the Union speech:
“Since my election, the net worth of the 50% of the poorest employees has increased by 47% – three times faster than for the top 1%. After decades of stable or declining incomes, wages are rising rapidly and, wonderfully, it is low wages that are rising the most. ”
Comical. The poorest 50% of Americans start from so low that an increase in their wealth three times faster means nothing. Let’s take the figures again : these 50% saw their assets collectively increase by 680 million dollars, the top 1% by 5 260 billion. Almost ten times more. We make it more concrete, more personalized? The wealth of an American household among the 50% least wealthy increased by 26,000 dollars on average, that of a happy member of the top 1% by 27 million. Over a thousand times more!
And contrary to what Trump asserts when he speaks of a “blue collar boom” – an expression he had already used at the Davos Forum in mid-January – they are not the ones who can blow up the traffic jams of champagne: households whose head of family has a simple high school diploma – a population that largely votes for Trump – saw their net wealth, under this president, not increase but … decrease by 400 billion dollars. Blue-collar workers one day, always cuckolds.