He did not mention any loopholes or deductions that would be reduced or eliminated within tax reform. He made no mention of Medicare or Social Security, and his only reference to Medicaid was that, “we should give our great State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.” Even in discussing repealing and replacing Obamacare, he did not mention actual spending cuts — just changes to the nature of the entitlement that would mean fewer mandates and more choices for states and individuals.
The three big entitlement programs, along with other mandatory spending, will account for 65 percent of federal spending over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Add defense spending to that, not including Trump’s proposed increase, and that would account for 77 percent of the spending. Tack on interest payments on the debt, and that brings it up to 87 percent of the budget left unaddressed by Trump. The remainder is mostly non-defense discretionary spending. But Trump also proposed increases to education funding and a $1 trillion infrastructure package.
If Obama had made a speech like this, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would be leading the charge of House Republicans in attacking the lack of seriousness about the nation’s long-term debt problem. After all, it was Ryan who rose to national prominence with his detailed critiques of Obama’s budget chicanery and his efforts to push the party to embrace long-term entitlement reform. But on Tuesday night, Ryan stood behind Trump for the entire speech and enthusiastically applauded.