It’s been well noted by now that the Trump administration’s budget proposal released on Monday is a blatant cash grab that would transfer trillions from the poorest in American society to the ultra wealthy. It does this by gutting public services in order to fund extensions for the reckless, unnecessary tax cuts the administration gave to wealthy Americans in 2017.
For the normal people in our society who don’t have time to read a massive federal proposal, it’s hard to see exactly how the budget is going to personally harm us. In truth, politicians often rely on the public being unaware of the nitty gritty details that shape big policy, because it makes it easier to pass all the things that benefit themselves and their friends, and not the constituents they serve.
So the Patriotic Millionaires team wants to break this proposal down a little bit for you. Although the administration hasn’t released the supporting documents that lay out budget policy line-by-line, the broad agenda released on Monday has enough information to paint a truly despicable portrait.
- $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid through instituting work requirements and eliminating the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
- $845 billion cut to Medicare over 10 years, in what amounts to about a 10 percent cut relative to its current budget and a whopping 1/3rd of its budget by 2029.
- $25 billion cut to Social Security over 10 years, of which at least $10 billion alone would come from insurance for disabled citizens.
- $4.5 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health, of which the subsidiary National Cancer Institute would see the sharpest decline in funding – a $900 million reduction, at a loss of about 14.5 percent.
- $220 billion cut to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or food stamps, over 10 year. This program currently serves 45 million people, amounts to at least a 25 percent cut relative to its current budget.
- $207 billion cut to student loan program, including eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which incentivizes graduates to pursue traditionally lower-paying public service jobs.
- Further, it proposes eliminating subsidized student loans, which prevents loans from accruing interest while students are still in school. This would increase the cost of attending school even more than current levels, and comes at a time when American student loan debt has hit a sky-high record of $1.56 trillion.
- $21 billion cut to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, an already underfunded program aimed at helping the poorest, most cash-strapped citizens get back on their feet.
- $148.9 billion cut to retirement savings programs for federal workers, for an average loss of $75,000 per worker. This affects over 2 million federal workers.
- Giving $34 billion more to defense spending for a total budget baseline of $750 billion, 5 percent more than the Pentagon requested.
- $8.6 billion to the southern border wall.
- An overall 9 percent cut to domestic programs, that would hit things like Section 8 vouchers and public housing, Head Start, and WIC.
But wait, there’s more! Not only are these massive cuts from crucial programs heartless, this entire budget is predicated on a rosy prediction of 3 percent growth in the next few years which will allegedly level off around 2.8 in 2029. Unfortunately for the administration (and all of us), the Congressional Budget Office and top economists all agree that growth is likely only going to be between 1.6 and 1.8 percent growth over that period – in part due to the massive revenue loss from tax cuts.
The fact that this budget is even more unhinged than the last two fiscal year budgets makes it more clear than ever that the Trump administration simply does not care about poor or even middle-class Americans. Thankfully this budget has no chance of becoming law, but it does let us look into the minds of the people running this country. A president’s budget is his wish list, his ideal version of what the United States government should look like and spend money on. The fact that Trump’s budget paints such a dark and inhumane picture of this country’s future should concern us all.