President Donald Trump, championing the Reagan conservative ideal of small government, has asked his cabinet secretaries in a full cabinet meeting Wednesday to cut 5 percent of their budget.
“Get rid of the fat, get rid of the waste,” President Trump said at the White House meeting. “And I’m sure you can do it.”
The president dubbed his plan the “nickel plan” because it aims to cut major government spending.
“Rather than go by the penny plan, we’ll go by the nickel plan,” he said.
President Trump also suggested that many cabinet secretaries can cut well above the 5 percent he quested. “I believe we can actually do it easily,” he said.
The president’s request comes a year before the next fiscal year and a new fiscal budget is set to take over. That new fiscal year and budget will starts Oct. 1, 2019. President Trump said he aims to keep his defense budget at $700 billion. A Treasury Department report reveals that the government deficit increased by 17 percent in Trump’s first year in office. That means that in order to reduce spending, he will have to make cuts elsewhere.
President Trump said the reason he did not ask for these budget cuts earlier is because he was trying to get Congress to pass his $700 billion military budget, and it would have been unlikely to pass if he made the concession to reduce spending in other areas. Now, however, there should be no problem passing a budget that spends less than the budget last year, assuming every cabinet secretary will agree to the 5 percent cuts.
Should his request be granted, the spending cuts would be the most dramatic since the Eisenhower administration. If Trump can get that done, it will surely go down in history.