President Donald Trump has released his budget proposal, and the contents should shock no one. It would appear that his main concern is doing away with social safety nets while increasing military spending.
The plan doesn’t even attempt to balance the budget or reduce the deficit.
Most, but not all, of the programs facing massive cuts are social safety net programs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly referred to as Food Stamps, would be cut by $213.5 billion over the next decade. While the number of SNAP participants has fallen, nearly 43 million Americans receive assistance from the SNAP program. Medicaid, which provides poor people with health insurance, will lose $250 billion in the next ten years.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development also faces a cut, in an attempt to “provide [low income renters] an incentive to increase their earnings.” One of the student loan forgiveness programs would end, as would subsidized student loans. The government health insurance plan for senior citizens, Medicare, would face a $236 billion over a decade. The National Endowment for the Arts would end this year. And the State Department and the Environment Protection Agency would both lose 26% and 34%, respectively, this year.
Trump’s budget does request funding for a few things. He has asked for $716 billion for the military, a 13% increase from the previous $634 billion spent on defense. Set aside for border control is $23 billion, mostly going towards Trump’s ridiculous border wall. Also requested is $13 billion to help fight the opioid crisis.
The long-awaited infrastructure plan is unveiled in the budget, but is relatively small. Trump is only seeking $200 billion for that, with no indication as to where the money would come from or how the expenditure would pass through Congress.
In case anyone was unsure as to Trump’s true feelings about Americans who struggle with poverty, this budget proposal proves his lack of empathy.