This morning Trump's fiscal-2019 budget was released to a chorus of disapproval across Washington. The President is required by law to propose a budget for each fiscal year, but Congressional Republicans likely won't base their own budget negotiations much on Trump's blueprint -- if they bother to offer a budget at all in this election year. Still, the President’s Budget is an important statement of the Republican Party's -- and particularly Trump's -- values, for which Republicans will be held accountable over the months leading to election 2018.
Those priorities, as defined by Trump this morning, include:
- $7 trillion in additional debt over a 10-year period, mostly the result of decreasing government revenues (thanks to the Trump Tax Scam) and grossly inflated military spending projections.
- Abandonment of any attempt to balance the budget within 10 years -- defying a principle that (next to tax cuts being the solution for every problem) has come to define Republican economic ideas.
- $554 billion in cuts to Medicare spending over 10 years. Trump proposes to save $47 billion by changing Medicare's prescription drug plans so that more seniors would be trapped in the coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole” -- forcing many seniors to pay more for their medications.
- $250 billion in cuts to Medicaid, achieved by sending block grants to states that they could use to fund programs besides Medicaid.
- $214 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program -- i.e., food stamps.
- a 34 percent cut from the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, including elimination of virtually all climate change-related programs. The EPA's Office of Science and Technology would be cut nearly in half.
- $57 billion less in non-defense spending for 2019 than Trump just signed into law on Friday as part of the shutdown-ending budget deal -- and 2% annual cuts thereafter, affecting a broad range of other social programs.
Immediate reaction from Democrats on Capitol Hill was harsh. “The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs, and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations,” said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. “These cuts to critical federal investments are so extreme they can only reflect a disdain for working families and a total lack of vision for a stronger society.”