President Trump’s (technically not a) State of the Union address Tuesday night included lots of policy proposals but few details. He promised a new version of his controversial travel ban but didn’t explain how it would pass judicial scrutiny. He nodded to a tax overhaul favored by House Speaker Paul Ryan but didn’t quite endorse it. And he gave the rough outlines of a replacement for the Affordable Care Act but didn’t resolve any of the thorny questions that have made Republicans’ “repeal and replace” promise harder to keep than they expected. (“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” Trump told reporters Monday, drawing incredulous reactions from the approximately 100 percent of people who knew that health care could be so complicated.)But if you really want to know what Trump is planning, just follow the money - specifically the preliminary outline that will be out this month in advance of the full formal budget Trump will be presenting to Congress later this year.
Various news outlets in recent weeks have reported that Trump’s budget will draw heavily on a plan released by the conservative Heritage Foundation last year. That document proposes slashing spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years by eliminating dozens of federal programs and offices. But Trump appears to be departing from the Heritage plan in significant ways. The think tank’s plan calls for eliminating whole categories of tariffs, for example; Trump has suggested he might impose steep new ones. And Heritage wants to get rid of programs that provide support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, arguing that the free market would do a better job allocating resources to the best companies; Trump, in his address to Congress, proposed a new program to encourage women entrepreneurs.Once again, today's blog post is a quote, this one from a Broadway musical. Recognize it?
I'll give you a hint: "The Emperor has no clothes"