Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Robert Reich -- Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget

Trump’s proposal to cut federal spending by more than $3.6 trillion over the next decade, much of it for programs that help the poor (Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security disability, and health insurance for poor children) -- in order to finance a huge military buildup and tax cuts for corporations and the rich -- won’t get through Congress.

But it is significant in 3 respects:

1.Among the biggest losers would be people who voted for Trump – whites in rural and poor areas of the country who depend on Medicaid, food stamps, and Social Security disability. Yet will they know that Trump is willing to sell them out to the rich, or will they fall for the right-wing Republican propaganda (amplified by Fox News and yell radio) that this budget is designed to help people take more responsibility for themselves?

2. It sets a new low bar for congressional and public debate over social insurance in America, and of government’s role, far lower than anything proposed by Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. It pushes the idea that each of us is and should be on our own, rather than we are part of a society whose members have responsibilities to one another.

3. It abandons any notion that an important aspect of patriotism involves sacrificing for the common good – paying for public services that you won’t use but will be used by others, and will thereby help the nation as a whole. It thereby frames the debate over Trumpcare (“why should I pay for her pre-existing health problem if I’m healthy?), and celebrates a cruel and virulent form of individualism – much like Trump himself.

Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget

By Robert Reich