President Donald Trump arrives for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

For the federal government’s fiscal 2018 budget, President Donald Trump wanted massive cuts for nine cabinet level agencies, ranging from 11 percent for Interior up to 29 percent for the State Department and 31 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Congress threw his requests into the legislative dumpster and handed out increases to eight of the nine agencies and kept EPA at the same level as the current year.

Trump demanded $25 billion to begin work on his wall between Mexico and the United States.  He got $16 billion, with $38 million for planning and the remainder for repairs of existing immigration barriers and 33 miles of fencing.  Not a single foot of construction is authorized for his desired wall, a key campaign promise that many felt helped him win the presidency in 2016.

“Legislatively, the president’s year in 2018 is turning out to be more dismal than 2017, which was pretty bad in itself,” says one worried GOP strategist.  “He supported GOP candidates who should have won in special elections in heavy Republican districts and lost. The failures are mounting up.”

Trump promised to cut spending.  Instead, it is going up to record levels and the already record budget deficits are expected to hit $1 trillion.

A big part of his problem was Trump’s inability to understand how the federal government operates.  He promised increased spending on the nation’s infrastructure but then proposed reducing transportation spending by 13 percent.

Congress increased transportation by 47 percent.

The one area where Trump wanted increased spending was the military.  Congress agreed and that spending is now considered a major part of discretionary budget spending that will top $1 trillion his year and more than $1.2 trillion next year.

Trump briefly threatened to veto the spending bill that passed on March 23 but signed it and has been in a bad mood ever since.

“Even by Trumpian standards, the president has been in high dudgeon this week, railing about everything from illegal immigrants to unfair Chinese trade practices,” writes former Treasury secretary counselor Steven Rattner in The New York Times. “For that, at least some Trump watchers blame his smashing defeat in the passage on March 23 of the omnibus spending bill.”

For a president who always declares himself “a winner,” the downbeat goes for Trump — the loser.

Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.


  1. Even though the Dems got everything they wanted (not including DACA), this dismal budget will be viewed as a Republican boondoggle and they may suffer for it at the ballot box. It would depend on how much intestinal fortitude the Dems have during their campaigns this fall. It’s about all the Dems CAN campaign on is GOP failures and making life more miserable for all of us.

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