Donald Trump released his budget. It bears no resemblance to the policies he campaigned on during the primaries or the general election. It is an evil budget designed to transfer money for the masses to the wealthy few. And Robert Reich is not letting Trump get away with it.
For the sake of the Republican Party, Trump’s budget is dead on arrival in Congress. But the budget is so draconian the compromise will be very Right leaning.
DailyKos Laura Clawson summarized the draconian Trump budget proposal quite well.
Donald Trump campaigned on the claim that he would “Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.” Who could possibly have predicted that this would turn out to be a lie, besides everyone who observed Trump’s pathological lying and the cut-hungry Republicans who surrounded him? Now we’re getting details on Trump’s budget, and … surprise! It would cut Medicaid by $600 billion over 10 years on top of Trumpcare’s more than $800 billion in Medicaid cuts. …
The states with the highest percentage of working-age people on disability are heavily Trump-voting states, so he’s planning to screw his own voters here.
Trump’s budget defined a deviancy downward
Robert Reich wrote that Trump’s budget defined a deviancy downward in three respects.
1. It imposes huge burdens on people who already are hurting. Not just the very poor, but also the working class. In fact, among the biggest losers would be people who voted for Trump – whites in rural and poor areas of the country who depend on Medicaid, food stamps, and Social Security disability.
Yet will they know that Trump is willing to sell them out to the rich and corporate interests, or will they fall for the right-wing Republican propaganda (amplified by Fox News and yell radio) that the budget is designed to help people take more responsibility for themselves?
2. It sets a new low bar for congressional and public debate over social insurance in America, and of government’s role – far lower than anything proposed by Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. It pushes the idea that each of us is and should be on our own, rather than that we are part of a society that benefits from social insurance – spreading the risks and costs of adversity that could hit any one of us.
As White House OMB director Mick Mulvaney absurdly put it, the government should show “compassion” for low-income Americans but it should “also…have compassion for folks who are paying [for] it.” That illogic eliminates the justification for social insurance altogether.
The budget thereby frames the debate over Trumpcare, for example, as “why should I pay for her pre-existing health problem if I’m healthy?”
3. Finally, the budget eviscerates the notion that an important aspect of patriotism involves sacrificing for the common good – paying for public services you won’t use but will be used by others and will thereby help the nation as a whole, such as schools, roads, clean air, and health care.
He ends his piece with a hard-hitting critique of Trump.
Trump’s budget celebrates a cruel and virulent form of individualism – much like Trump himself. Until Trump, this view of America was considered deviant. But Trump is defining deviancy downward. We are a better nation than this.
The Trump budget is horrendous. But it does give us the opportunity to reach out to many of the Trump voters, those that voted for Obama, those that still have a modicum of objectivity left in the recesses of their brains, and those less empathetic who see that Trump is about to crater their personal economies. Let’s get busy.