Congressional Budget Office Casts Doubt on Trump Spending Plan

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WASHINGTON — President Trump had promised that his mix of tax cuts, deregulation and reductions in wasteful spending would spur economic growth and cure America’s ailing fiscal health. On Thursday, an independent government analysis of those proposals effectively said, “Not so much.”

The Congressional Budget Office cast Mr. Trump’s inaugural budget as overly optimistic, expressing doubt about his promises to balance the federal budget. The budget projected that by 2027, the economy would achieve a small budget surplus. But according to the budget office, the deficit would remain at $720 billion, or 2.6 percent of gross domestic product.

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Forecast of Weak Economic Growth Raises Big Questions About Trump’s Populist Agenda

Yet he has been promising action for weeks, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would only tell a meeting of senators on Thursday that he planned to provide options to Trump soon.

Trump’s combination of setbacks and delays on key policy initiatives highlight how the president is struggling to advance a populist vision of governing in a Republican Party that historically has not been receptive to such an approach.

With his budget and health care, Trump is falling in line with some of his party’s most conservative voices, even if the policies threaten to harm many of the working-class voters who elected him.

On trade — an issue where he could act unilaterally — Trump is facing opposition from companies, foreign allies and numerous White House advisers who say restricting imports could hurt U.S. industry broadly far more than it helps steel companies.

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