Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump signs Republican tax cut legislation into law in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Friday, December 22, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Trump Budget to Propose 'Savage' Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security While Hiking Pentagon and Wall Funds

"This budget is Trump's pledge that as long as he stays in office, slashing Social Security, Medicaid, and whatever's left of SNAP will remain a White House priority."

Jake Johnson

Just two days after vowing the White House "will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare" in its budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, President Donald Trump on Monday is expected to unveil a $4.8 trillion blueprint that includes hundreds of billions in combined cuts to those programs over the next decade, deep reductions in safety-net spending, and a major increase in Pentagon funding.

"The budget reportedly includes destructive changes to Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security, and other assistance programs that help Americans make ends meet—all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations."
—Rep. John Yarmuth

The president's plan, according to the Wall Street Journal, calls for hiking America's already outlandish military spending to $740.5 billion in FY2021 and pouring $2 billion more into the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Meanwhile, Trump's budget would enact punishing cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, and other crucial safety net programs.

"The White House proposes to cut spending by $4.4 trillion over a decade," the Journal reported Sunday. "Of that, it targets $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts—such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps—and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to federal disability benefits."

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, issued a statement late Sunday condemning Trump's forthcoming budget proposal as "destructive and irrational."

"The budget reportedly includes destructive changes to Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security, and other assistance programs that help Americans make ends meet—all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations," said Yarmuth. "Congress will stand firm against this president's broken promises and his disregard for the human cost of his destructive policies."

Bobby Kogan, chief mathematician for the Senate Budget Committee, echoed Yarmuth on Twitter, calling the FY2021 blueprint "enormously cruel."

"Less than a week after promising to protect families' healthcare in his State of the Union address, the president is now brazenly inflicting savage multi-billion-dollar cuts to Medicare and Medicaid."
—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

On top of the steep safety net cuts, Trump's budget proposal would also slash the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 27%, the Housing and Urban Development budget by 15%, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget by 9%—even amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Warnings that Trump has Social Security and Medicare in his crosshairs intensified last month when the president told CNBC in an interview at Davos that he is "going to look" at slashing Medicare and Social Security should he win reelection in 2020.

After 2020 Democrats and others seized upon Trump's comments as further evidence that his 2016 campaign vow to protect Social Security and Medicare was a lie, the president has since claimed he is attempting to "save" the programs.

"We will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget," Trump tweeted Saturday. "Only the Democrats will destroy them by destroying our Country's greatest ever Economy!"

In a statement responding to the reported details of Trump's FY2021 budget, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said "once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security, and well-being of hard-working American families."

"Year after year, President Trump's budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on," said Pelosi. "Less than a week after promising to protect families' healthcare in his State of the Union address, the president is now brazenly inflicting savage multi-billion-dollar cuts to Medicare and Medicaid—at the same time that he is fighting in federal court to destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions and dismantle every other protection and benefit of the Affordable Care Act."


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

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Sanders Says There's 'No Excuse' for Any Democrat to Oppose Lowering Drug Prices

"Now is the time for Congress to show courage and stand up to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry."

Jake Johnson ·


Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Blasted for 'Unconscionable Profits,' Monopolies, and Low Taxes

"Big Pharma's business model—receive billions in public investments, charge exorbitant prices for lifesaving medicines, pay little tax—is gold dust for wealthy investors and corporate executives but devastating for global public health."

Common Dreams staff ·


UN Human Rights Chief Calls for Global Halt to Sales of Dangerous AI Technologies

"The power of AI to serve people is undeniable, but so is AI's ability to feed human rights violations at an enormous scale with virtually no visibility."

Brett Wilkins ·


ICC Approves Probe Into 'Drug War' Atrocities Carried Out by Duterte Regime

"Duterte along with his co-accused henchmen of the war on drugs will be facing justice."

Andrea Germanos ·


Global Indigenous Coalition Echoes Call to Postpone UN Climate Talks

"No equitable or just climate solutions can emerge from such an unjust process."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo