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Today in the Vaunted Economic Populism of Donald J. Trump

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Every day is something new under the Republican sun

If Ronald Reagan were living today, he’d be rolling around in his grave:

President Trump released a $4.8 trillion budget proposal on Monday that includes a familiar list of deep cuts to student loan assistance, affordable housing efforts, food stamps and Medicaid, reflecting Mr. Trump’s election-year effort to continue shrinking the federal safety net.

The proposal, which must be approved by Congress, includes additional spending for the military, national defense and border enforcement, along with money for Mr. Trump’s Space Force initiative and an extension of the individual income tax cuts that were set to expire in 2025. Its biggest reduction is an annual 2 percent decrease in spending on discretionary domestic programs, like education and environmental protection.

Speaking to the nation’s governors at the White House, Mr. Trump said Monday that his budget proposal would bring the deficit close to zero in “not that long a period of time” and that he was investing heavily in the military and America’s nuclear arsenal.

“We’re going to have a very good budget with a very powerful military budget, because we have no choice,” he said, adding that he was aiming to reduce spending by rooting out fraud and abuse.

The fact that Republican elites have almost universally accepted this very different kind of Republican president is truly a mystery that will never be solved.

Anyway, given the large extent to which Trump’s support rested on Appeals to Economic Populism, I’m sure his popularity rating will crash immediately…

…it’s certainly not a subtle con:

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