So Trumps new budget proposal is out, and as expected, its severely damaging to the sciences, healthcare, biomedical research, and the environment.
It probably wont pass Congress in 2018 if 2017s verdict is anything to go by, but this wont just be because its so draconian. Its also because it literally doesn’t add up. As pointed out by NYMag, there is a $2 trillion mathematical error in the document.
The Trump administration plans to balance the budget over the next decade by cutting the national deficit. Mysteriously, the President has also promised the biggest tax cut in history at least for the wealthiest of Americans.
Tax reform hasnt made it through the House yet, so its not clear what the cuts will be, but if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is anything to go by, it wont be for the poor, but the rich.
Either way, the budget as it stands expects these mythical tax cuts to increase economic growth to the tune of $2 trillion. Less tax will lead to less revenue, but will apparently lead to more investment into business, which will generate more growth thats the theory.
However, when you think about it, this means that they think that the tax cuts pay for themselves. This is purely hypothetical, self-evidently nonsensical, and in any case is not something you can just add to a concrete budget as if its factual. Its an assumption based on pixie dust, not actual testable information or modeling.
Theres been no evidence at all in recent American history to suggest that these massive upper-class tax cuts will pay for themselves, regardless of which American political party was in power at the time. So, in effect, this is a double-counting error, a basic accounting mistake that, presumably, the government hoped no one would notice.
So we wouldnt worry so much about this 2018 budget. Sure, it says a lot about the callousness of those that authored it, but it amounts to nothing less than witchcraft. Science will survive another day.