Match budget cut criticism with real work on the problem

President Donald Trump’s proposed “skinny budget” is drawing some harsh criticism based on some of the cuts he is proposing.

The Chesapeake Bay cleanup, free legal services aid and community block grant programs that benefit many of the region’s municipalities all are on the list of programs to be cut.

The concerns and criticisms are understandable and may in fact be merited. The hope would be that the budget examinations in the House and Senate over the next several months would result in restoration of much of the worthy program funding.

But let’s resist the temptation to lay all of this at the Trump administration’s doorstep.

President Obama inherited an $8 trillion national debt.

At the time, he said passing budgets that inflate that debt to our children would be un-American.

He proceeded to more than double that debt during his eight years, an irresponsible performance that Congress also is part of.

Regardless of what you think of Trump personally, one expectation of his term should be that the debt be reversed.

It is, in fact, unfair to our children to continue running up a debt they will have to pay off. It’s fiscally irresponsible and, just as importantly, dangerous to have other countries holding the nation’s debt cards.

Trump’s budget blueprint proposes cuts to almost every federal department except Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security. While those departments should be strictly audited for waste, that priority matches our federal government’s first responsibility – protecting our borders and our people against all threats, foreign and domestic.

Annually we are treated to post-budget lists of unfathomable waste items.

In the coming six months, we would like to see a joint effort in the House, Senate and administration at an honest assessment and elimination of clear waste in the federal budget. We suspect that elimination of real waste could result in restoration of much of the funding cuts that are drawing the criticism.

But let’s not forget how we got here.

And let’s also concede that part of the president’s job is to reverse rather than inflate our already out-of-control national debt before a day of reckoning arrives.

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