Donald Trump effectively campaigned in 2016 promising to fix problems plaguing “forgotten” Americans. He hasn’t delivered. But forget his biggest legislative victory, a monumental tax cut primarily benefiting corporations and the already rich. Likewise, ignore the hollow claims of a booming economy that has largely generated only low-wage, “gig economy” jobs.
The President just this week offered the best indicator of his true concern for suffering Americans, in the form of his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 federal budget. Trump is recommending cuts to Medicaid ($900 billion), Medicare ($500 billion), Social Security ($24 billion), as well as billions more in reductions to programs ranging from food stamps and homeless students, to after school programs, student loans, and poor mothers and infants.
In the same vein, federal departments authorizing and operating social programs and programs for environmental protection all come in for major cuts – Housing and Urban Development (15.2%), Health and Human Services (9%), Environment Protection (26.5%), Education (8%), Interior (13.4%).
Meanwhile, in a separate measure already passed by Congress and approved by the President late last year (the National Defense Authorization Act), the Pentagon budget was boosted to the colossal figure of $738 billion, an increase of $21 billion over the previous year.
Mainstream media coverage likes to point out that Presidential budget proposals are, typically, “dead on arrival” when they reach Congress. But this President’s budget proposal is certainly more truthful than any words likely to come out of his mouth. It is a crystal clear statement of his administration’s priorities, and his intentions to destroy social support programs as soon as he can get away with it.
POTUS’ 2020 budget is a stab in the back of the millions of suffering citizens who welcomed him in 2016 as their populist champion.