Digesting Trump's Remarkable New Budget Proposal
“Get a job, poor people” – that might as well be the tagline of the Trump Administration’s latest budget proposal. No matter what a politician says in regards to priorities, you simply have to look at the budget they propose or vote on. Budgets tell us more about a person’s priority and a political party’s beliefs than any manifesto can ever do.
- Over the next decade, it calls for slashing more than $800 billion from Medicaid.
- It also calls for cutting $192 billion from nutritional assistance and $272 billion over all from welfare programs.
- The plan would cut by more than $72 billion the disability benefits upon which millions of Americans rely.
- It would eliminate loan programs that subsidise college education for the poor.
- While undeniably cruel, as it is unlikely to pass it serves more as a messaging tool than a practical policy document. But what is Trump’s message?
If the current Republican ideology is reflected in this budget (voted on and enacted) they will no longer be able to hide behind their thinly articulated support of ‘average Americans’. If Americans support this budget, it will clearly establish our nation’s values as to how we treat our fellow citizens.
This should be a non-starter, based solely on the principles of protecting our citizens from those who would harm of us, from within or outside out country. This budget will do real harm to our fellow citizens.
The budget totals $4.1 trillion for the fiscal year of 20128, and the Trump Administration are calling it “The New Foundation for American Greatness.” While their old budget fit on one piece of paper, this one has more details.
The $1.7 trillion cut in non-defense domestic programs over the next 10 years would have a serious effect on Medicaid and federal food stamps, while at the same time Trump is calling for spending tens of billions more on defense and border security. Medicare and Social Security entitlement however, do seem to remain in tact.
It’s incomprehensible that Trump would propose a budget that gives $353 billion in tax breaks to the top .2% while slashing Meals on Wheels.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 22, 2017
Trump’s budget says if you’re a Trump you get up to a $4 billion tax break, but if you’re working class you could lose your health care.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 23, 2017
The budget seems to focus on those who are disadvantaged to do more work.
“We need folks to work,” Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney said in a conference call with reporters Monday. “We need people to go to work. If you’re on food stamps, and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be, we need you to work. There’s a dignity to work, and there’s a necessity to work.”
Trump’s budget would be devastating for Virginia’s families, children, seniors, businesses, the poor….the list goes on and on
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) May 23, 2017
The $20 trillion national debt?
Unsurprisingly, Trump’s proposal would not decrease the massive national debt, despite his promises to do so throughout his campaign. Furthermore, to balance this budget alone relies on the economy to grow by 3 percent a year, each year.
This estimate is far above what the Congressional Budget Office and other economists predict, which is around 1.8 percent per year.
Here are some of the key proposals:
- $880 billion less Medicaid spending as part of the Republican’s Obamacare repeal and replace bill
- $610 billion in Medicaid cuts over and above the $880 billion in Trumpcare cuts
- $192 billion in cuts to food stamps and nutritional assistance as part of a $272 billion cut from welfare programs
- $40 billion less spent on the earned-income and child care tax credit by preventing undocumented immigrants from collecting even if they have children who are U.S. citizens
- $50 billion less agriculture subsidies
- $19 billion in new spending on a parental leave program, Ivanka Trump’s signature initiative
- $1.6 billion next year in spending for a border wall. “I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall,” Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan said Tuesday. “Why is this in our budget?”
- $500 million raised next year by selling off part of the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, 687.7 million barrels of oil stored in Texas and Louisiana
- $54 billion in new defense spending next year
- A 31 percent cut in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget
- A 6 percent increase in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget
One of the more baffling issues is how do Trump supporters not realise that they are the ones who are going to lose under his administration? Do his supporters, many of whom are lower income, not realise that they are the ones who benefit from the social programs in place right now? Many media outlets have focused on Trump supporters and their reactions to his proposed cuts/ideas, etc. and they never quite seem to put two and two together that when they say there should not be entitlement programs that they are the ones who are actually using those programs.
How is there such a huge disconnect by the people who use these programs and not realising that they are the ones who are using them?
There is only so much we can do as a society for people, particularly people who cannot see things for what they are. His supporters will be the ones who are most harmed by his policies but it seems that they are unaware of this so what can the rest of us do?
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 23, 2017
Dickens himself would cringe
The late Hubert Humphrey once commented that the “True test of a civilized society is how we treat those in the dawn of life: the children; those in the twilight of life: the elderly; and those in the shadows of life: the poor, disabled, and infirm.” This Dickensian budget would make Charles Dickens himself cringe, and demeans a huge swath of this nation in the process. The only missing elements are Debtors’ Prisons and workhouses – all in fealty to lavishing ever more tax cuts upon the plutocrats. This is the result of a savagely callous, venal GOTP which is utterly contemptuous of the poor, those who have difficulty finding work or supporting their families, children, and women.
Let us not mince words: this is the handiwork of Citizens United and McCutcheon, and of a party possessed of zero moral compass or concern for all Americans. This budget is beyond immoral – it is a disgrace and an assault upon the least among us – those in “the shadows of life.”
“We’re not going to measure our success by how much money we spend, but by how many people we actually help,” Mr. Mulvaney said. So that would be no success then.
Trump’s budget proposes deep cutbacks for public health, clean air, safe water, public lands, clean energy, toxic cleanups & climate action.
— NRDC (@NRDC) May 23, 2017
#TrumpBudget would decimate funding for too many programs important to our children, future, economy, and neighbors that need help the most
— Rep. Daniel Lipinski (@RepLipinski) May 23, 2017