On Monday, the White House is releasing its 2019 budget proposal and a $200 billion infrastructure plan, both of which will face long odds of being enacted. The budget proposal will seek to shrink the 10-year federal deficit by $3 trillion, from more than $10 trillion currently estimated, but will not even pretend to eliminate it — abandoning what The Washington Post drily calls "a North Star for the Republican Party for several decades." Republicans in Congress passed a tax plan in December that will add at least $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, and lawmakers in both parties approved spending measures last week that will cost about $500 billion over the next two years.
The infrastructure plan proposes to leverage $200 billion in federal spending into $1.5 trillion worth of infrastructure projects, either by asking state and local governments to match the funds by as much as a 4-to-1 ratio, or encouraging $6.50 in private investment for every dollar of federal spending. Many infrastructure experts consider the proposed private-public ratio "to be largely out of reach," The New York Times notes.
"Readers should file both documents under the genre of 'science fiction,'" Axios suggests. "The budget is dead on arrival because presidential budgets are always dead on arrival, and the infrastructure plan appears to be dead on arrival because of a larger crisis facing the party."