Trump who campaigned as a populist has issued a budget proposal that defines him as a draconian conservative on economic and social issues and pro military to the point of extreme militarism. Trump’s real vision is apparently to take America down a road the majority us did not vote to go.
POLITICO – Donald Trump, whose populist message and promises to help American workers propelled him to the White House, issued a budget proposal on Tuesday that instead takes aim at the social safety net on which many of his supporters rely.
Rather than breaking with Washington precedent, Trump’s spending blueprint follows established conservative orthodoxy, cutting taxes on the wealthy, boosting defense spending and taking a hatchet to programs for the poor and disabled – potentially hurting many of the rural and low-income Americans who voted him into office.
The president’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises on the campaign trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.
Trump also proposes some of the deepest cuts to agriculture subsidies since Ronald Reagan, squeezing out nearly $50 billion over 10 years.
Trump’s budget would drastically cut domestic programs controlled by Congress, slashing $1.7 trillion over 10 years. At the end of the decade, the U.S. would spend nearly twice as much on defense as on other domestic programs. Domestic discretionary spending would be capped at $429 billion per year, below 2004 levels, while military spending soars to $722 billion.
The White House plans to heavily promote its commitment to Social Security and Medicare, though its attempt to eliminate the federal deficit while largely preserving those entitlement programs — which together make up the bulk of federal spending — will leave behind a path of destruction for other safety net programs.
Trump’s budget would tighten the belt on programs for low-income families ranging from cash assistance to the child tax credit. Nearly $200 billion in cuts will come directly from the federal food stamp program, which helps feed 44 million people each year.
Trump would also slash $72 billion by tightening the rules for programs for people with disabilities — programs that Trump’s advisers have described as riddled with fraud and abuse. A federal watchdog, however, found last year that 17 anti-fraud programs already exist.
“Candidate Trump campaigned as a populist, said he wanted to help the working people, but since he has taken office he has governed like a hard-right conservative — pushing policies that help the uber wealthy at the expense of the middle class,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Sunday night.
“It’s a complete about-face,” said Seth Hanlon, a former economic adviser to Barack Obama. “It’s a betrayal of a lot of people who put their faith in him.”
But even some Republicans — both inside and outside Congress — say they’re worried about the sheer magnitude of the proposed cuts.
“I’m deeply concerned about the severity of the domestic cuts,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), a long-time member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, told POLITICO on Friday.
Rogers has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s proposed cuts to programs that benefit rural regions like his home state, like the Appalachian Regional Commission.
“I think we do need healthcare reform. I think we do need welfare reform. But the kinds of reductions that he’s talking about go exactly against the states that brought [Trump] to the dance, so to speak,” said G. William Hoagland, a former long-time Republican Senate budget aide.
Perhaps Trump and GOP supporters will eventually wake up. When they’re screwed until it really hurts. As the multimillionaires and billionaires benefit bigly. Trump’s real plan all along apparently.
More BELOW THE FOLD.