While this budget is largely symbolic, since the U.S. Congress just approved a two-year budget deal, these extreme proposals should not be ignored. They are an important signal of the president’s priorities. Many of the specific proposals included in the budget have been introduced before and could be incorporated in future budget proposals or stand-alone legislation this year.
On the heels of the passage of harmful new federal tax breaks that benefit the wealthy and corporations to the detriment of people with low and middle incomes, President Trump laid out a recipe for increased poverty, homelessness, and inequality. Specifically:
- He again calls for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and drastically cutting Medicaid, putting health insurance for millions of Washingtonians at risk.
- He calls for huge cuts in nutrition, housing, and other basic assistance for millions of Americans below or close to the poverty line, most of whom work for low wages, are elderly or have disabilities, or care for young children. For example, the president cuts nearly 30 percent over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which currently helps put food on the table for more than 900,000 Washingtonians.
- He proposes deep cuts to the non-defense discretionary budget that funds education, scientific research, job training, and other core government functions. This would result in massive and unsustainable cost shifts to state governments.
Instead of pursuing the policies proposed by President Trump, federal leaders should take common-sense steps to support families and grow the economy. They can do this by investing in high-quality job training and apprenticeships; increasing access to safe, affordable, dependable child care and care for family members with disabilities; and advancing policies that create jobs and raise wages for working families.
For more analysis about this harmful budget proposal, see this statement from Bob Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Trump budget offers stark vision.”