Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the Trump budget as “stunning in its cruelty” for “taking a sledgehammer to the middle class and the working poor while lavishing tax breaks on the wealthy.” Schumer blasted the budget for “breaks promise after promise after promise the President made to what he called the forgotten America, the working men and women of America. Well, this budget forgot the forgotten American.”
“The budget depends on fantasy math to make all the cuts work. The budget takes a quantum leap into a new dimension of budgetary fairytale,” Schumer said, possibly eluding to the unrealistic growth numbers Republicans used to balance the budget or the 2 trillion dollar oopsie of double spending. “The gall, the nerve, the facts-be-darned attitude in this budget is appalling.”
But that’s not even the worse part.
“The document is stunning in its cruelty – it takes a sledgehammer to the middle class and the working poor while lavishing tax breaks on the wealthy,” Schumer said in floor remarks sent to PoliticusUSA.
“… the Trump budget is a compilation of all the broken promises this president has made to working Americans. In his budget, President Trump has broken promise after promise after promise to working people without any shame, without any remorse, without any explanation.”
While the budget isn’t likely to see the light of day, it is an important statement about values. It is a moral document in this sense, and informs the people of the party’s values.
Both parties are trying to sell the morality of their argument. Republicans are trying to suggest that it’s moral to take people off of government safety nets because they’ll be better off this way and it’s immoral to have some taxpayers helping out other Americans, while Democrats are arguing that it’s immoral to make the poor and working class fund tax breaks for people like Donald Trump.
The Trump budget cuts money going to food stamps and cuts billions from social safety net programs like welfare. Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, said these programs don’t work and the President can’t take money from taxpayers to fund people.
“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,” Mulvaney said on Monday. “We are going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs and get back in charge of their own lives.”
That sounds fine, except the budget makes cuts to jobs. And also, Mulvaney didn’t mention this, but he means like our veterans, who use SNAP, Medicaid, and are often employed by the federal government. How is it not fair for taxpayers to repay our veterans for their service? This argument falls apart quickly under even the dimmest bulb.
“The president promised to increase infrastructure investment, but his budget actually cuts more money from infrastructure programs than the new money it puts in,” Schumer stormed. “The President’s proposal to slash American infrastructure investments is a job-killing, 180 degree turn away from his repeated promise of a trillion dollar infrastructure plan. President Trump’s campaign promises on infrastructure are crumbling faster than our roads and bridges.”
The Trump budget makes cuts to SSDI, which is Social Security even though Republicans are trying to pretend it’s not. Guess who uses SSDI? Our disabled veterans. How are they supposed to “get back in charge” of their own lives if they can’t drive or get to work or get a job. This same logic applies to all disabled people.
Schumer wasn’t having that either, “The president said he would ‘save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid without cuts. Have to do it,’ those are his words. But the Trump budget slashes Social Security by $72 billion and cuts Medicaid by hundreds of billions, in addition to the more than $800 billion Trumpcare cuts took from Medicaid already from the House bill. All in all, that’s a $1 trillion broken promise on Medicaid. And remember, America, Medicaid is a program that affects the poor – that’s a good thing – but much of the money goes to help the middle class, elderly people in nursing homes, families fighting opioid addiction.”
And the cuts are actually going to be even worse (hey, the Republican Party won the White House and Congress, so this shouldn’t be a surprise but it seems to be to many Trump voters):
Mulvaney says the Medicaid cuts are actually much bigger than $800 billion over 10 years. Suggests it could be closer to $1.3 trillion.
— Damian Paletta (@damianpaletta) May 24, 2017
How does cutting education and student loan programs help Americans get off these programs? The idea of a good education being offered to all is fundamental to our freedom and the value of hard work elevating one’s social and economic status.
Schumer went at it again, “The president has said that education was the ‘civil rights issue of our time,’ but the Trump budget calls for over $3.2 billion in cuts to higher education; eliminates program that forgive loans for public service jobs, like teachers and doctors; eliminates subsidized student loan program that helps lower cost for college. College students of America, look at the President’s budget. See if he’s on your side. He sure as heck isn’t.”
Republican talking points about the social safety net often sound good in theory; but they ignore reality.
Reality isn’t pretty. Middle class families with a parent or grandparent in a nursing home need Medicaid to make it. Our elderly deserve to be taken care of in some kind of decent way, and there is no solution offered by the Trump budget for this challenge. It’s as if this problem and the problems of the disabled and the out of work and middle class Americans will just magically disappear. Grown ups know better than this.
These real life challenges are what lawmakers and the President are paid to deal with- not Ayn Rand fiction. This budget is so bad that Republicans are running away from it. And yet, it is what their party values.
Republicans have been unmasked, if you will. By Donald Trump.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.