Is Trump’s Budget Immoral?

trump budget

Can a budget be immoral? While people can debate cuts and expenditures, some say that the budget introduced this week by the Trump administration constitutes nothing less than a massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor to the top 1%. And this, they say, is an immoral act.

“At a time when the very rich are already getting much richer while the middle class continues to shrink, this is a budget for the billionaire class, for Wall Street, for corporate CEOs, and for the wealthiest people in this country,” according to Bernie Sanders.

“This is a budget that says that if you are the richest family in America, you will get a multi-billion-dollar tax break through the repeal of the estate tax. But, at the same time, if you are a lower income senior citizen you will not be able to get the one nutritious meal a day you now receive through the Meals on Wheels program or the help you desperately need if you have a disability and are trying to survive on a $1,200 a month Social Security check.”
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, spelled it out clearly for reporters on Monday. The largest savings in the budget come from these items:

1. Cuts to Medicaid (Over $600 billion in the next decade)
2. Cuts to food stamps, known as SNAP ($193 billion over 10 years)
3. Cuts to student loans ($143 billion over 10 years)
4. Cuts to federal worker retirement programs ($63 billion over 10 years)

Mulvaney probably should have added a fifth bullet: Disability programs also get a massive haircut.

Advocates for the poor are stunned at the magnitude of the cuts.

It’s a “reverse Robin Hood agenda,” says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Stealing from the poor and giving to the richest of the rich.

The Trump administration is strongly defending this as a “taxpayer first” budget.

But it’s a mystery whether a typical American family will be any better off under Trump. The White House has given out only a one-page outline of its tax plan. There’s so little detail that even tax policy experts can’t figure out if the middle class gains or loses. What is known so far is that the wealthy — including Trump himself — would likely pay a lot less in taxes.

Even some on Wall Street are surprised by this budget.

“This is the centerpiece of the spending proposal — cuts of nearly $1 trillion over 10 years in Medicaid, food stamps and other anti-poverty programs,” says Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horzion Investments who writes a daily take on politics.

Trump Voters: You Were Fooled!

Ironically, a substantial number of people on government aid voted for Trump. Seven of the top 10 states with the greatest proportion of their residents on food stamps went for Trump. The critical swing state of Florida was among them.

In addition to food stamps, Trump also slashes Social Security Disability Insurance, a core program to help people who are physically unable to work, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, a key welfare program.

“The majority of the benefits go to high-income people,” says Joe Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.