The presidential budget proposal unveiled Monday would make trillions of dollars in cuts, though the Trump budget would give the Pentagon even more money than it requested.
Trump’s budget proposal, dubbed “A Budget for a Better America,” requests steep cuts to various domestic programs, with the bulk of those cuts targeting social safety programs that low-income Americans depend on to meet basic needs. Most notable among the proposed cuts is $845 billion in budget cuts to Medicare over a ten-year period, and approximately $1.5 trillion in funding cuts for state Medicaid programs in that same window.
In a tweet, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, called the president’s budget proposal “a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in America.”
Trump’s budget cuts $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, $845 billion from Medicare and $25 billion from Social Security.
Make no mistake about it: Trump’s budget is a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in America.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 11, 2019
Another government agency subjected to large budget cuts is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which would see a 16.4 percent cut under the Trump budget. HUD, which is the agency responsible for providing housing assistance for low-income Americans, would absorb the $8.7 billion cut primarily through the imposition of work requirements for non-elderly, non-disabled Americans, who would be required to log at least 20 hours of work per week to qualify for housing assistance.
As Grit Post previously reported, these new work requirements could result in millions of workers being thrown off of assistance necessary for them to have shelter. While most recipients of government assistance are already employed, 17 percent of those workers are subject to irregular work schedules. This means that many workers, through no fault of their own, would lose assistance simply because they weren’t given enough hours by their employers.
Despite the cuts, the FY 2020 Trump budget outline is still the largest in history as it proposes $4.7 trillion in spending. Some of the spending outlined in the bill includes $8.7 billion for the president’s proposed wall along the Southern border of the U.S., as well as $750 billion in funding the the military. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, that’s $17 billion more than what the Pentagon requested in its FY 2020 budget request. Trump is also proposing additional funding for federal immigration enforcement agencies like Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
However, the Trump budget isn’t likely to pass Congress, as both Democrats and Republicans have objections to certain parts of the proposal. House Budget Committee chairman John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky) said the proposal has “no chance” of passage in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.