Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

'Morally Bankrupt' Budget: After $1.5 Trillion Gift to Rich, Trump Demands $1.7 Trillion in Safety Net Cuts

"Millions of Americans will lose access to life-saving programs because the GOP gave $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the rich."

Jake Johnson

Staff members display recently released printed copies of U.S. President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget at the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill February 12, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Those wondering how President Donald Trump plans to pay for the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich he signed into law last year got their answer on Monday, when the White House unveiled its 2019 budget (pdf) blueprint that calls for $1.7 trillion in cuts to crucial safety net programs over the next decade—including $237 billion in cuts to Medicare alone.

"Millions of Americans will lose access to life-saving programs because the GOP gave $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the rich."
—Tax March
While imposing "severe austerity" on domestic programs that primarily benefit poor and middle class Americans, Trump's proposal also aims to hike the Pentagon's budget to $716 billion—a seven percent increase from his 2018 request—and provide $18 billion for "the wall."

"The Trump budget is morally bankrupt and bad economic policy," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote on Twitter Monday shortly after the White House proposal was made public.

Critics were quick to note that such severe cuts to healthcare programs that serve the elderly, the disabled, and the poor will likely come "with a body count."

"Millions of Americans will lose access to life-saving programs because the GOP gave $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the rich," the advocacy group Tax March wrote on Twitter.

In addition to calling for potentially devastating cuts to healthcare, food stamps, and other components of America's already-withering safety net, Trump's budget also calls for large cuts to environmental programs—including $598.5 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"President Trump's budget is nothing short of devastating for all Americans who value clean air, safe drinking water, and protected public lands," Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement on Monday.

Though presidential budget requests are non-binding, they are a strong indicator of the White House's goals and values, as Indivisible's senior policy manager Chad Bolt observed while analyzing the newly released document.

Trump's "budget proposal is just a proposal, but it's a clear statement of his priorities," Bolt noted. "Making deep cuts to programs families rely on has been a priority since Day 1."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Trump Says Mar-a-Lago 'Under Siege, Raided, and Occupied' by FBI

"The accountability our democracy desperately needs for its survival might, just might, be a real possibility," said the head of a watchdog group.

Common Dreams staff ·


New Ad Against Herschel Walker Features Ex-Wife's Domestic Violence Accusations

A leader at the anti-Trump group behind the advertisement targeting the U.S. Senate candidate said that "our campaign is built around the voices of Georgia Republicans who know that he's unfit for office."

Jessica Corbett ·


Michigan AG Urges Probe of Alleged GOP-Led Effort to Break Into Voting Machines

"We must denounce the Big Lie and those who refuse to uphold the will of the people in our elections," said one democracy defender.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hopes Rise for Return to Iran Nuclear Deal Destroyed by Trump

"We stand five minutes or five seconds from the finish line," said one negotiator, who added that "three or four issues" that are "sensitive for Iranians and Americans" remain to be resolved.

Brett Wilkins ·


Sinema Received Over $500K From Private Equity Before Shielding Industry From Tax Hikes

"Remember the days when taking half a million bucks from an industry, and then passing legislation that only benefits that industry, while passing the costs onto everyone else, would be called corruption?" asked one critic. "Today it's just lobbying as usual."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo