Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump was grilled about his tax cut proposals by Chris Wallace of Fox News during Thursday night’s debate in Detroit. Asked how he would pay for his proposed tax cuts by reducing “waste, fraud, and abuse,” Trump suggested that he could do so with cuts to the Department of Education, Common Core, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Common Core, of course, is not a federal program. The Common Core State Standards Initiative was developed and voluntarily adopted by the states. The federal government “played no role in creating the standards, nor did it require that states adopt them,” according to NPR, though it did provide some incentives in 2009 to adopt it.
Though Trump’s tax cuts would expand the deficit by a nearly $10 trillion over a decade, Trump has suggested these could be offset by cuts.
But Wallace pointed out that the entire Department of Education budget is just $78 billion and the entire budget of the EPA is just $8 billion annually.
Wallace also noted that Trump suggested he could get $300 billion in savings on prescription drugs through better price negotiations — but Medicare spends just $78 billion on those programs annually. Trump’s own party has long blocked bulk purchasing negotiations for Medicare Part D, claiming that it would not save any money.
Trump responded by reasserting his position: “We’ll save more than $300 billion a year if we properly negotiate. We don’t do that. We don’t negotiate on anything.”