BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Members of Congress of both parties declared President Trump’s new budget “dead on arrival,” news reports say (see here and here). It certainly deserves to be. It would eliminate health care for tens of millions of Americans, in part by adopting the House Republican health bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would leave 23 million fewer people with coverage. It would cut services ranging from education and job training to adult day programs for the elderly. And it would cut basic food, health, and income support for struggling families. At the same time, it would cut taxes for the nation’s wealthiest people and profitable corporations.
But while some in Congress may seek to distance themselves from the Trump budget, it’s broadly consistent with House-passed Republican budgets of recent years. Many in the House have indicated that they want to pass a budget with similar features this year.
Given those broad similarities, it’s not enough for lawmakers to say they oppose the Trump budget. They should reject any budget that slashes support for low- and middle-income people, showers the highest-income Americans with big tax cuts, and uses gimmicks to mask the true cost of those tax cuts. Any budget with these features will increase inequality, hamper mobility, and worsen poverty and hardship.
Trump Budget and Prior House GOP Budgets Share Same Architecture
|Trump Budget||Past Ryan and House GOP Budget|
|Repeals Affordable Care Act, adding tens of millions to the ranks of the uninsured|
|Targets Medicaid for deep cuts beyond the severe cuts in ACA repeal|
|Targets SNAP and other low-income assistance for deep cuts|
|Slashes non-defense discretionary funding
(economic development, job training, medical research, etc.)
|Cuts taxes for the richest|
|Uses gimmicks to hide true cost of tax cuts and claim balanced budget|
|Increases number of uninsured, poverty, and hardship|
|Weakens investments in nation's future productivity|
|Shifts costs to states|
|Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | cbpp.org|