Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Trump Budget In One Word: Cruel

A cursory examination of the Trump administration's proposed 2019 budget simply bears out what most Americans have already learned -- this administration absolutely hates science, the poor, the elderly, and the sick. There is no other coherent explanation for the cruelty it contains.

The plan calls for massive cuts in spending on scientific research, medical research, disease prevention programs and health insurance for children of the working poor.

Among those on the hit list: The National Cancer Institute would be hit with a $1 billion cut. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute would see a $575 million cut, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases would see a reduction of $838 million.

The administration would cut the overall National Institutes of Health budget by $5.8 billion. The National Science Foundation, which dispenses grants to a variety of scientific research endeavors, would be trimmed $776 million.

The budget plan would greatly impact the poorest Americans, cutting billions of dollars from food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies.

On healthcare that benefits one-third of Americans, Trump's budget calls for cutting federal Medicare and Medicaid funding by $250 billion over the next 10 years,

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, would be cut by $17.2 billion in 2019, and would lose more than $213.5 billion over the next decade, a reduction of nearly 30 percent,

HUD would see a cut of 14 percent. The entire fund for public housing capital repairs would be eliminated. The administration also desires cutting a federal housing subsidy program, known as Section 8 vouchers, by nearly $1 billion. The cuts would come on top of the administration's proposal to raise the rent for low-income families receiving public housing assistance.

The administration wants to also eliminate funding for Community Development Block Grants, which play a key role in disaster recovery, as well as grants to states and local governments to increase homeownership for the lowest-income Americans.

Candidate Donald Trump told the “forgotten men and women of our country” that he would champion them. As evidence that he was a different kind of Republican, he promised not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that benefit poor and middle-class families.

President Donald Trump obviously cares nothing for the "forgotten men and women" whose support he sought on the campaign trail.

While slashing essential services, the budget increases the military budget by 14 percent -- while trimming the State Department's budget by 27 percent. In case we forget, the State Department is charged with resolving international problems while keeping us out of war.

Couple the budget proposal with the Republican tax cuts passed last year, and what do we see? We see the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer and sicker, and lose most opportunities to better their situation. It also puts our children and grandchildren on the hook for trillions of dollars in new federal debt.

Trump fans will point to the recently-passed bipartisan budget that authorizes a significant increase in domestic as well as military, spending, as "proof" the administration is concerned with the well-being of sick, poor and disadvantaged Americans.

Don't be fooled. The proposed 2019 budget proves that the Trump administration plans to do everything in its power to doom the bipartisan budget deal to failure -- with absolutely no concern for the millions of Americans who would be harmed.

The White House wants to ignore the core role the federal government plays in addressing national priorities and needs that local communities can't handle on their own. Instead, it would foist much of that work onto beleaguered state and local governments. That would be particularly problematic for the less populous, more rural states whose voters put Trump in the White House.

The budget would inflict so much pain on lawmakers' constituents that Congress can safely be expected to laugh off most of Trump's proposal. However, the budget proves that Trump's promise to be a different type of president was nothing but another in a long list of lies he's told.

Modern Republicans have shown time and time again they desire nothing more than to cut federal agencies and programs that benefit average Americans, while blowing up the national debt and ballooning military funding. In this respect, Trump is no better than the conservative establishment he often derided on the campaign trail.

Federal spending needs to be brought under greater control, but not on the backs of the elderly, the poor, the weak and the struggling... in other words, the very people Trump promised to protect.

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