Sunday, May 26, 2019

Just how bad is Trump’s new proposed budget?

"The Trump budget is breathtaking in its degree of cruelty and filled with broken promises."

Released early this week, President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal for 2020 is being slammed for its ‘breathtaking cruelty’ and complete lack of fiscal responsibility.

Titled “A Budget for a Better America” and claiming “Promises kept. Taxpayers First,” the budget outlines the Trump administration’s values and priorities for next year. Although the proposal has very little chance of being enacted as is, it begins the annual budget process with some bad omens for ordinary Americans.

Trump seems to be using the proposal to prove to his supporters that he is still trying to follow through with any of the many campaign promises he made, yet only succeeds in showing how many promises he has already broken.

First off, the budget calls for $8.6 billion for border wall funding. In the words of Bernie Sanders, “We don’t need billions of dollars for a wall that no one wants.” Not only do the majority of Americans oppose a border wall, but environmentalist groups also say the building a wall between the United States and Mexico would be devastating to communities and wildlife.

According to the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife, “The proposed wall could cut off valuable national wildlife refuge land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), blocking access to natural spaces that provide opportunities for learning and outdoor recreation.” Click here for a detailed interactive map that shows how the wall would impact the nature and communities of the LRGV in Texas.

The extent of environmental devastation that the wall could cause is so far unknown, as the Trump Administration has refused to conduct an environmental impact statement.

Previous attempts to get funding for the wall, which Trump promised during his campaign would be paid for by Mexico, have caused tremendous problems for the Trump Administration. At the end of 2018, a fight in Congress over funding the border wall resulted in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

But funding for the wall is just the tip of the iceberg. The newest budget proposal also calls for a massive increase of $861 billion in base military spending over the next ten years, “even more than” the Pentagon had hoped for. “This is a budget for the military-industrial complex, for corporate CEOs, for Wall Street and for the billionaire class,” says Senator Sanders.

The total budget request by Trump comes to $4.7 trillion and also includes trillions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well as a 15 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a 31 percent cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The budget would slash Medicaid by $1.5 trillion, Medicare by $845 billion, Social Security by $25 billion, college education spending by $207 billion, and the food stamps program by $220 billion.

“My 2020 Budget builds on the tremendous progress we have made and provides a clear roadmap for the Congress to bring Federal spending and debt under control. We must protect future generations from Washington’s habitual deficit spending,” Trump claims.

What the budget proposal lacks s a projected balanced budget in ten years. Before his inauguration, Trump claimed he could balance the budget over a five-year period. Instead, the budget projects that the annual deficit will reach $1.1 trillion by the end of 2019.

“The Trump budget is breathtaking in its degree of cruelty and filled with broken promises,” says Sanders, who is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “Donald Trump promised the American people that he would be a different type of Republican, that he would be a champion of the working American and that he would not cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But his budget does the exact opposite of what he promised the American people.”

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