Trump has signaled he’s serious about a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, as he promised on the campaign trail. He also wants Republicans to approve extra spending this spring to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and beef up the military — the combined price tag of which could reach $50 billion, insiders say. And that’s to say nothing of tax cuts, which the president’s team has suggested need not necessarily be paid for.
Trump, meanwhile, has made clear he has little interest in tackling the biggest drivers of the national debt: entitlements. Republicans have been yearning to overhaul Medicare and Social Security for decades.
Even without Trump’s pricey wish list, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the $19.9 trillion debt will grow by a further $9.4 trillion over the next decade if nothing changes.
“I don’t think you can do infrastructure, raise defense spending, do a tax cut, keep Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security just as they are, and balance the budget. It’s just not possible,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Budget Committee. “Sooner or later, they’re going to come to grips with it because the numbers force you to.”