Donald Trump Budget Slashes Medicare, Food Stamps, ‘Safety Net’ By $2 Trillion, But Boosts Military Spending

The new federal budget proposed by Donald Trump will increase spending on the military while slashing a whopping $2 trillion from social “safety net” programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps over the next 10 years. The budget will also call for $2 billion in funds next year to build a wall along the United States border with Mexico, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday.

The border wall funds would allow Trump to take a significant step toward fulfilling the central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign — to construct a wall along the southern border for the supposed purpose of keeping undocumented immigrants from crossing into U.S. territory.

But in 2016, Trump also ran on a promise to eliminate the federal budget deficit within eight years of taking office — in other words, by the year 2025. The new budget, however, would not close the budget deficit until 2035, according to documents examined by The Washington Post.

In fact, according to the Post report, far from cutting down the budget deficit, Trump’s economic policies have had the effect of “ballooning” the deficit. The first budget submitted by Trump in his current term projected a deficit of $456 billion by 2021, according to The Post. Instead, the deficit will be more than double that amount–approximately $1 trillion.

Border wall divides El Paso from Mexico.
Trump’s new budget will include $2 billion to build a border wall.

Based on his budget, Trump proposes to slash the deficit largely by cutting spending on safety net programs. Though during his 2016 campaign, Trump pledged that he would never cut programs such as Social Security and Medicare, he reversed himself in an interview with CNBC last month, calling those two programs which provide a vital lifeline to senior Americans “the easiest of all things” to cut.

Trump’s new budget will call for an immediate $130 billion cut from changes to prescription drug pricing under Medicare, according to the Journal report.

The budget also calls for $292 billion worth of cuts coming from changes in rules that will increase the difficulty in qualifying for low-income lifeline programs. Those programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as “food stamps,” and Medicaid — the federally funded state-run program that provides free health coverage for families and individuals below a certain low-income threshold, or with specific disabilities.

The budget, however, contains an increase of 0.3 percent in military spending, hiking Pentagon expenditures to $740.5 billion for the fiscal year 2021, according to an NBC News report.

The budget also calls for a massive, 21 percent reduction in foreign aid spending. And despite the current coronavirus outbreak, as well as the threat of future deadly pandemics, Trump’s budget would cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control by nine percent, according to the Journal analysis.