You probably remember when Donald Trump promised as a candidate that he wouldn’t cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Mercurial Trump has changed his mind now that he’s sent the deficit running toward the $1 trillion dollar mark. Now is the time to cut Medicaid and really stick it to the poor to pay for his $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that mainly help the rich.
“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” candidate Trump promised.
Cut to reality, Trump is going to “let” the states to make cuts to Medicaid, he’s just going to name those (life-ending for some people) cuts something happy like “Healthy Adult Opportunity”:
SCOOP: Trump’s Medicaid block grants are now called “Healthy Adult Opportunity,” will let states limit patients’ benefits and available drugs.https://t.co/HoasIaXb43 with @rachel_roubein pic.twitter.com/8DR4xDpVoj
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 29, 2020
A few days ago while at Davos, Trump again signaled a willingness to cut Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, or as the media and Republicans call them, “entitlements.”
Because Trump talks out of both sides of his mouth, what he puts down on paper is indisputable and his last several budgets also made cuts to the social safety net, with 2020 cutting $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, $845 billion from Medicare and $25 billion from Social Security. Of course the money is there, it’s just going to defense spending, with an $861 billion increase.
The CBO points out, “Projected deficits rise from 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 to 5.4 percent in 2030. Other than a six-year period during and immediately after World War II, the deficit over the past century has not exceeded 4.0 percent for more than five consecutive years. And during the past 50 years, deficits have averaged 1.5 percent of GDP when the economy was relatively strong (as it is now).”
The CBO’s warning about the deficit hitting $1 trillion in 2020 is often blamed on the growth of social safety net programs. For some reason, we never take the human factor into account in our budgets or how to actually make America greater than it is by investing in education and healthcare. Instead, it’s always the same story of helping the top 1% while dark money, gerrymandering, and epistemic closure allow Republicans to continue their lack of accountability for their plunder.
This is the Republican never-ending cycle of cutting taxes for the rich and then using the resulting deficit as a reason to cut from the people, and then blaming their deficit on the next Democratic president who has to dig us out of the economic ditch created by the empty trickle down promises, only to be blamed for any stimulus needed to do so and then quickly replaced by yet another spoiled Republican brat who puts everything on daddy’s credit card.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) busted Trump on his promises that the tax cuts would pay for themselves. In a statement sent to PoliticusUSA, the Democrat also pointed out that Trump has grown the deficit “from $587 billion to more than $1 trillion, and it’s expected to average $1.3 trillion annually for at least the next decade.”
All of that even though Trump promised to eliminate debt in 8 years with his Super Negotiating Skills that landed us in hot water with North Korea, China, and Iran.
It isn’t as if Trump had to dig us out of an economic downswing – he inherited the booming Obama economy, which made history for private sector job growth year after year. Just three years in and Trump and his rich cronies have plundered the coffers for themselves and are coming for life-saving healthcare and the small bits of security people paid into their entire working lives.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
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 is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.