"It balances in the 10th year."
That is what White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters about President Donald Trump's budget proposal in a briefing Monday.
He was talking about fiscal 2027.
That year, Trump will be two years out of office — if he serves two terms — and a child who turned 8 the day Trump was elected will be 18 and old enough to vote.
To maintain control of Congress until 2027, the Republicans must sustain their majorities through the next five elections.
At another press briefing on Tuesday, Mulvaney boasted that President Barack Obama never managed to present a budget that claimed it would achieve a balance at any time in the future.
"The last time we looked, we couldn't find a President Obama budget that balanced ever," he said.
He then explained that Trump's proposal would put America on a fiscal trajectory that would achieve a balanced budget because it assumes the United States — aided by the tax cuts Trump is proposing — will once again see sustained 3 percent economic growth.
That is a level not seen since 2005.
"We will bring back 3 percent economic growth to this country, and those numbers are assumed in this budget," said Mulvaney.
The strategy is simple and will work if actually carried out: Grow the economy. Cut the government.
The budget proposal the White House sent to Congress correctly describes a dire fiscal situation.
"Unless we change our fiscal course, our budget deficits will begin rising again after next year and will soon reach trillion-dollar levels once again," says Trump's budget. "That would mean the publicly held debt will continue to mushroom and soon place the nation in uncharted fiscal territory, unable to weather unexpected events such as recession or war, and vulnerable to fiscal and economic crises."
"We have borrowed from our children and their future for too long, the devastating consequences of which cannot be overstated," it says. "We are fast approaching having publicly held debt at or exceeding 100 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, a point at which hopes for a more prosperous future are irrevocably lost."
America is headed toward bankruptcy because it has become a welfare state where increasing numbers of people are dependent on government for the basics of their lives.
This February, in Trump's first full month in office, there were 74,980,323 people enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicaid/CHIP enrollment has increased by 17,144,835 in the states that reported their enrollment both in the last quarter of fiscal 2013, before the Obamacare exchanges opened, and this February.
If the law said Medicaid/CHIP could not enroll more beneficiaries than the population of Italy (62,007,540), the program would need to immediately cut 12,972,783 beneficiaries.
In other words, it would need to cut more people than live in Pennsylvania (12,802,503) or Illinois (12,801,539).
But if it made those cuts, it would still enroll more people than it did in 2013 before the Obamacare exchanges opened.
Similarly, in the average month of fiscal 2008, the fiscal year before Obama was elected, there were 28,223,000 people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the Department of Agriculture. This February, there were 42,263,361 — an increase of 14,040,361.
The 42,236,361 who live on food stamps nationwide outnumber the population of California — 39,250,017. The 14,040,361-person increase outnumbers the populations of all states but California, Texas (27,862,596), Florida (20,612,439) and New York (19,745,289).
In his budget proposal, President Trump calls for reforming Medicaid and food stamps and cutting the burden they impose on hard-working self-sufficient taxpayers.
His Medicaid proposal would give states "the choice between a per capita cap and a block grant starting in 2020." Between now and 2027, when the budget is supposed to balance, that would save $610 billion, OMB estimates.
His food stamp proposal would work on "gradually establishing a State match for benefit costs" and making it more difficult for "able-bodied adults without dependents" to get benefits.
Trump is also calling for eliminating federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Administration, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and a number of other unwarranted federal spending programs.
Liberals in the media and in Congress will claim Trump is going too far. They will argue against balancing the budget in 10 years.
The Republicans in Congress should see if they could do it in four.
Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. To find out more about him, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.