U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan over the next decade would not come close to balancing the national government's budget as it had promised, an independent analysis said Thursday.
The Congressional Budget Office said the proposed White House budget would result in a $720 billion deficit at the end of 10 years, not a small surplus as it had estimated.
The CBO said Trump's decade-long spending plan would trim the current nearly $20 trillion national debt by $3.3 trillion, not the $5.6 trillion the White House projected.
"The reduction in deficits and debt under the president’s budget would be achieved by decreasing both mandatory and discretionary spending significantly compared with projections under current law," the CBO said.
"In particular, federal spending for health care would be much lower ... as would outlays for war-related programs and for many nondefense purposes," the CBO said.
The independent agency, whose financial estimates often shape lawmakers' policy decisions in the U.S., said, "The deficits that CBO estimates would occur under the president’s proposals are larger than those estimated by the [Trump] administration. Nearly all of that difference arises because the administration projects higher revenue collections — stemming mainly from a projection of faster economic growth."
Trump's 2018 budget proposals call for a sharp increase in defense spending with similar reductions throughout the government for funding on domestic programs. But many of the Trump spending proposals are controversial and some lawmakers have vowed to ignore them or sharply change them.
Theoretically, Congress has until the end of September to approve the 2018 spending plan for the year starting October 1. But lawmakers often in the past have kept spending at the same level as for the fiscal year just ended while continuing to debate new spending totals.