Donald Trump’s business-mogul ways (which include wanting to sell half of U.S. strategic oil reserves to ease the national debt) have led to a proposed budget that would heavily gut the EPA and State Department. He also aims to dump domestic violence programs and Meals on Wheels funding in order to beef up border security and the military, so the U.S. can start winning again. And eventually, Trump would like to build that wall. How will he fund these initiatives? Largely through slashing Medicaid and other anti-poverty programs, as the newest version of the proposed plan reveals.
New York magazine notes that the overall budget relies on a $2 trillion math error and an overoptimistic economic growth projection. Trump has also declined to make any changes to Medicare or Social Security, but to include all the extras he wants, his newest proposal (which shall be unveiled early next week) includes a $4.1 trillion budget that will cut over $1 trillion from programs that benefit the poorest Americans. The president hopes to slash $800 million from Medicaid, and other vital programs like food stamps, disability payments, and student loan relief will see the razor blade.
In effect, Trump will be cutting many programs that affect members of his voting base, as the New York Times summarizes:
Over the next decade, [the budget] calls for slashing more than $800 billion from Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor, while slicing $192 billion from nutritional assistance and $272 billion over all from welfare programs. And domestic programs outside of military and homeland security whose budgets are determined annually by Congress would also take a hit, their funding falling by $57 billion, or 10.6 percent. The plan would cut by more than $72 billion the disability benefits upon which millions of Americans rely.
The Washington Post reports heavy skepticism from some GOP lawmakers who have gone on record. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) has dismissed the proposed budget as a “useful debating document” that he believes will never pass in its current form. Meanwhile, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee, has slammed the Medicaid cuts:
“It’s a problem — it’s a big problem … I’ve got one of the poorest districts in the country, with lots of Medicaid recipients as well as other programs. . … The cuts are draconian.”
Cole added that Republicans should be wary of voting in favor for this budget for the sake of a victory, for he believes there’s no way that Trump’s budget numbers will work as planned. For that reason, other GOP Congressfolk have already declared that the document will be “dead on arrival.”
However, Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the New York Times that the proposal is a plan for America: “This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has previously laughed at Trump’s healthcare stances, tweeted his assertion that Trump’s Medicaid cuts are “cruel.”
And since there’s a vintage Trump tweet for every situation, here you go.