Donald Trump juggles piggy banks representing Social Security (illustrated)

Every president breaks campaign promises, but it’s the numbers and priorities that really hurt feelings. And Trump voters are starting to reap what they’ve sown.

For instance, Kraig Moss, a guy whose son died of a heroin overdose; Trump personally promised him he would expand treatment for drug addiction and fight the flow of drugs into America.

Moss stopped paying his mortgage and sold most of his belongings to follow Trump around the country and campaign for him. Now he’s seen the health care bill that would replace Obamacare, which Trump publicly endorsed and bullied House members into voting for.

“This bill is just the absolute opposite. I felt betrayed,” Moss told The Washington Post, which wrote “the proposed health care bill would eliminate a requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, a mandate that covered nearly 1.3 million people.”

Make America Sick and Poor Again

Trump’s nonsensical budget is going to break a lot more hearts. Especially in places that don’t have a lot of infrastructure, jobs, and government support to start with.

For starters, it plans nearly a 20 percent cut, nearly $6 billion, for the National Institutes of Health — which funds groundbreaking research into cancer and other deadly diseases. While conservatives will point out the fact NIH has funded bizarre studies into the sex habits of hamsters and the effects of cocaine on rats, its financial pipeline is also responsible for a lot of the effective treatments and medications we have today. You can’t be anti-science and say you’re serious about improving health care.

Trump also wants to kill multiple development agencies which exclusively help rural communities get jobs, build infrastructure, and find health care. They’re effectively anti-poverty programs for places Trump won by a huge margin; aimed at giving them exactly what they need more of. Yet Trump’s hoping to take them away entirely; just to add an extra drop in the bucket of military spending and tax breaks for people like himself.

Fortunately for all of us, Trump doesn’t get to dictate the budget. His proposal is just a very sad (sad!) opening bid in negotiations with Congress.  But it’s also the most concrete example so far that Donald Trump has no idea what he’s doing.

The blueprint of America run like a business, I guess

Here’s how you put America First, according to Donald Trump:

  • Cut Housing and Urban Development $6.2 billion (13.2 percent)
  • Cut Transportation $2.4 billion (12.7 percent)
  • Cut Health & Human Services $12.6 billion (16.2 percent)
  • Cut Education $9 billion (13.5 percent)
  • Cut Environmental Protection Agency $2.6 billion (31.4 percent)
  • Cut State $11 billion (28.7 percent)
  • Cut Labor $2.5 billion (20.7 percent)
  • Cut Agriculture $5 billion (20.7 percent)
  • Cut Army Corp of Engineers $1 billion (16.3 percent)
  • Cut Interior 11.7 percent
  • Cut Commerce 15.7 percent
  • Cut $250 million in grants for coastal and marine management
  • Cut $667 million in disaster relief and Homeland Security grants

I mean, yeah, NPR and Sesame Street and stuff. Be upset about that. But these cuts would hit farmers, teachers, construction workers, people without jobs, the sick and the poor. Hard. It’s like an extra layer of sequestration for no reason.

And for all those cuts, Trump still manages to run nearly a half-trillion dollar deficit by pumping all that “saved” money into the defense budget, which is already larger than the next seven countries combined.

$54 billion more (10 percent) would be spend on defense and law enforcement, and another $30 billion would go toward “national security and the border,” separate from a $1.5 billion request to get the wall started. (Thought Mexico was gonna cover that?) Veterans Affairs is the only other area getting a boost.

Where’s the rest of it?

But that’s just what is called “discretionary spending,” which accounts for about a third of the federal government’s overall spending and is authorized annually.

The rest is already committed to what Washington calls “entitlement programs,” like Social Security and Medicare. Those are automatically funded according to the law and how many people are seeking benefits.

Trump promised during the campaign not to touch those, which are a lifeline for seniors. But most Republicans say shrinking them is the real goal if we’re going to cut taxes and rein in the deficit — and many would probably prefer little cuts there to drastic cuts on literally everything else. Paul Ryan has suggested privatizing Medicare and has been pushing entitlement reform (read: shrinkage) since the day he arrived in Congress.

Unfortunately, Trump isn’t saying anything about entitlements with his budget proposal. The administration claims this is just the big-picture budget, and they’ll get to that part soon. But it’s a much smaller picture than previous presidents gave us at this point. Usually we also get numbers for Social Security and Medicare, estimates of tax revenue, and an explanation of the economic assumptions behind the budget.

We’re supposed to get the full details in May, and that’s when the Republican Congress will slap Trump in the face with reality. If Obamacare repeal fails, tax reform will be tougher, and budgeting will be even more nightmarish — probably forcing Republicans to push the cuts Trump says won’t happen.

If how he’s handled things so far is any indication, that’ll be just one more broken promise and one more loss for Trump.

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Article last modified on February 9, 2018. Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Can Trump Keep His Promise To Leave Social Security Alone? - AMP.

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Article last modified on February 9, 2018. Published by, LLC .