Although President Donald Trump, as a leader, has been generally good for the United States economy, the government continues to spend more money than it takes in, racking up huge deficits every fiscal year. The president, thankfully, has suggested multiple ways to start reversing this overspending issue.
One of those plans was to save money by cutting foreign aid, especially to countries that have a history of attempting to undermine American interests and the safety of its allies. However, when a bipartisan group of individuals, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, undermined that plan, the White House instead canceled pay increases for federal workers.
They pulled an ‘aid’ scam on him, undermining his policy, so he responded with a shocking cut of his own. It’s strange that, after all this talk of the need for better government spending control, the legislature would do this to the only person trying to fix it.
President Trump repeatedly talked about his plan to cut spending from foreign aid, and his administration’s plans would have resulted in saving billions of dollars that had been allocated, but were never spent on their ‘intended’ purpose.
In fact, the White House Office of Management and Budget had previously asked the State Department, under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to prepare a rescission package to reclaim the unspent funds before the end of the fiscal year on September 31.
However, earlier in the week, the White House OMB abandoned this request, after lawmakers from both parties pushed back against an attempt to recover $3.5 billion dollars in unspent foreign aid.
SecState Pompeo was allegedly against the idea of saving those funds as well.
President Donald J. Trump attempted to slash the budget for foreign aid by as much as 30% for the FY2018 budget, but his plan was rejected by the legislature.
Foreign aid spending is generally viewed favorably by both parties in the legislature, and most claim that it is a useful way to make friends and express “American values” around the world.
It is also a useful diplomatic tool in the eyes of many, who believe that spending money on nations whose interests are not necessarily aligned with those of the United States will soften their opposition.
The federal budget for the 2018 fiscal year allotted $55.9 billion dollars for international affairs, which includes money set aside for foreign aid. This total represented a five percent decrease from the previous year.
In a letter that Donald Trump sent to Congress on Thursday, perhaps as a response to their decision to block his cuts, the president informed leaders in the House that he was cancelling a pay raise for civilian employees working for the federal government.
In the letter, the president proclaimed that locality pay increases, which would cost as much as $25 billion to the federal government, as well as a 2.1 percent raise for civilian federal employees across the board, would both be set to zero for 2019.
In reaching the decision, he cited the cost, and said that the United States must maintain an effort to put the nation on a “fiscally sustainable course.”
Since the legislators wouldn’t work with Donald Trump, and members of the ‘deep state’ like Pompeo seemed set against the idea of cutting foreign aid funding, it only made sense that the President would seek for something else to cut.
Furthermore, as a bargaining chip, pay increases for federal employees in civilian roles are a good choice. It is likely that the legislature, especially leftists, would be willing to exchange various other Trump administration policy goals in order to preserve these pay increases for federal employees.
Even though federal employees are generally better-paid, especially at the lower levels, than their private-sector counterparts, the Barack Obama administration continuously raised their income, and even required that government contractors had to pay higher wages or risk losing lucrative government contracts.
Couple that with generous benefit and pension packages, and the average federal government employee makes a decent living, even without this $25 billion in ‘locality adjustments,’ which are meant to help inflate incomes for people living in parts of the country with high costs of living, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Most Americans who don’t work for the federal government are not likely to feel too badly for the civilian government employers and bureaucrats who will not be further enriched by taxpayer money.
However, leftists in government, who receive outsized support from civilian government employees, may be willing to give up some amount of foreign aid spending in order to preserve money for over-compensated federal employees.
Either President Trump is acting out of spite in an attempt to reign in America’s outrageous spending somehow, or he’s brilliantly maneuvering to save money.
Given his previous success, it seems obvious which is the case.