The New Trump Budget Is Paul Ryan’s Dream Come True

In Budget, Economy, Healthcare On
- Updated

You may remember that when he ran for president in 2016, Donald Trump said a lot of unusual things, among which were regular pledges that unlike his Republican primary opponents and others in his party, he’d protect the safety net. In the speech announcing his candidacy, he said, “Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.”

Trump liked to emphasize how this position distinguished him. “I’m not going to cut Social Security, like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” he said in an interview not long before that announcement. His campaign liked this promise so much that it later published it on its website. In fact, as early as 2011, when Trump was turning himself into a Republican political celebrity with Roger Ailes’s help with a regular gig on “Fox & Friends,” he attacked then-Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for the congressman’s plan to cut entitlements, calling it an electoral “death wish.”

Yet the budget that the Trump administration just released contains enormous cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention domestic programs. In a word, it is positively savage. Some of the highlights:

  • The Trump budget would cut about $845 billion from Medicare over 10 years
  • It cuts $241 billion from Medicaid
  • It would push Medicaid toward block grants which cap the amount each state would receive, which when the money runs out would result in pared-back benefits, recipients being tossed off the program or both
  • It would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which would mean millions would lose their health coverage
  • It would cut $25 billion from Social Security
  • It would impose work requirements on recipients of food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance, forcing them to navigate a bureaucratic maze or lose their benefits
  • It would cut $220 billion from food stamps
  • It would cut $1.1 trillion from domestic discretionary programs, which do not include Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security
  • It would cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 16 percent and the Education Department by 12 percent
  • It would cut the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent

In short, it’s Ryan’s dream come true.

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