Talking Points: What’s Wrong with Trump’s Budget


President Trump’s federal budget proposal for 2019 continues his record of giving more perks and breaks to the rich and Wall Street while cutting health care and other benefits for everyone else.

In his State of the Union address, President Trump touted his tax plan as an economic boon for the middle class, but the truth is that the rich and corporations are the real winners under the new tax law: every millionaire in America gets a $70,000 annual tax break, companies like Wells Fargo, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Apple get a 14% cut, but middle class families get only about $400 a year and lower income people get even less.

What’s even worse is that while the 1% gets most of the breaks, the rest of us would pay more for health care, housing and other services because of cuts to benefits that Trump includes in this budget:

  • The new tax law will leave 13 million more people uninsured over 10 years and drive up premiums for families by about $2,000 to pay for the corporate tax breaks.
  • To address the new trillion dollar deficit he created by passing the new tax giveaway, Trump’s 2019 budget would make even more cuts to health care including a $1.4 trillion cut to Medicaid, which provides health care to over 70 million kids, seniors, people with disabilities and working families. Medicaid pays for almost half of all births in the country and is the leading payer of nursing home and home care for seniors.
  • Plus, even though the majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and don’t want it repealed, the President renews his commitment to ending the ACA in his budget through a proposal that resembles the Graham Cassidy repeal bill that Congress rejected last year. Over 20 million people could lose coverage under this kind of repeal proposal.

But Trump doesn’t stop with health care cuts. Trump’s budget proposal makes cuts to all kinds of additional programs for low and moderate-income families struggling to afford the basics and make ends meet.

  • Trump proposes billions in cuts to housing assistance even though the cost of rent in the United States has risen by 18% over five years, making housing harder to afford for many. In states like Texas, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia, a minimum wage worker would have to work two full time jobs to afford a one bedroom apartment. But instead of raising the federal minimum wage, which remains at $7.25 an hour or addressing rising rent costs, Trump’s budget forces people to pay a greater share of their income in rent or lose their homes.
  • Similarly, Trump proposes big cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), a program designed to combat hunger, which impacts 1 in 7 households in the United States. Between 2012 and 2016, the cost of food increased by 6.1% according to the Consumer Price Index while wages rose by less than 3% over the same period. Although only prices for medical care and housing have risen faster than food prices, President Trump’s budget cuts nutritional assistance by $213 billion over 10 years, denying families, kids and seniors the basic nutrition they need.
  • Trump’s budget, like many of the rule changes coming from his administration, insists that people work more and harder for the basic necessities of life but at the same time snatches away every opportunity for improving those lives. His budget proposal cuts the Department of Education’s budget by $3.6 billion dollars including work-study programs for students in college, TRIO assistance for low-income first generation college students and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants. The proposal would cut teacher jobs and eliminate after-school programs that help parents and kids.

Whether or not President Trump’s priorities become law, his budget demonstrates where his priorities are when it comes to people and investments. His budget cuts virtually every benefit, consumer protection and service that millions of working people rely on every day to keep our families healthy and safe and at the same time shifts billions of our tax dollars to private developers, military contractors and private prisons.

  • Trump increases the Pentagon’s budget by 14% in anticipation of potential armed conflict and increases militarization of the border between the United States and Mexico, diverting money for construction of the “border wall” that the majority of Americans do not support.
  • Rather than fix the crisis he has created by ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Trump proposes over $3 billion in new spending to deport, detain and imprison immigrants, dividing their families, hurting the economy and putting many immigrants’ lives at risk.