The Trump Budget: The other shoe drops

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NEW BUDGET looks much like the old budget, but with some added cruelty – nearly $2 trillion in cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and massive new tax cuts for the wealthy.

When Congress passed a $2 trillion tax cut for corporations and the wealthy in 2017, the AFL-CIO warned that the obscene cost of the Republican tax cut bill would be used as a pretext to cut programs that benefit working people.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said at the time that the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was nothing but a con game, and working people were the ones they were trying to con.

It’s a familiar refrain:

  • First comes the promise that tax giveaways for the wealthy and big corporations will trickle down to the rest of us.
  • Then comes the promise that tax cuts will pay for themselves.
  • Then comes the promise that they want to stop offshoring.
  • Finally, we find out that none of these things are true, and the people responsible for wasting trillions of dollars on tax giveaways to the rich tell us we have no choice but to cut Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, education and infrastructure.

There always seems to be plenty of money for millionaires and big corporations but never enough money to do anything for working people.

Now those predictions are coming true. President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint for fiscal 2021 includes nearly $2 trillion in cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, roughly the same amount as the 2017 tax cuts.

It also includes another round of massive new tax cuts for the wealthy.

Trump’s budget plan would cut:

  • $1 trillion from Medicaid and subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.
  • $1.3 billion from the Department of Labor.
  • $400 million in assistance for people who lose their jobs to imports.
  • Eliminate a program to help U.S. manufacturing companies create jobs.
  • Eliminate subsidized student loans and the public service student loan forgiveness program.

While supporters of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act promised it would benefit working people, almost all of its benefits have gone to corporations and the wealthy, and very little has trickled down to working people.

• Paychecks are still flat, and too many working people still have to work more than one job just to make ends meet.

• Real wages grew by exactly 0 percent in September, -0.1 percent in October, -0.1 percent in November and -0.1 percent in December, when adjusted for inflation.

To make things worse, the president’s budget blueprint for fiscal 2021 proposes another disproportionate tax cut for the wealthy — extending 2017 tax cuts for another 10 years at a cost of $1.4 trillion over the next decade.

Two-thirds of those cuts would go to the richest 20 percent of taxpayers.

They keep running the same play because it keeps working.

Since 2001, the wealthiest 1% of all taxpayers have gotten $2 trillion in tax cuts, and federal tax revenues have been reduced by $5.1 trillion.

This is money that should have been used to make life better for working people – for example, by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, funding quality public education for every child and guaranteeing retirement security for our seniors – rather than building up the fortunes of the 1%.



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