Trump breaks campaign promise, proposes federal budget that would cut Medicare by $845 billion and Medicaid by $241 billion

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly promised that, if elected president, he would cut neither Medicare nor Medicaid. [See video below.] Today, however, his administration proposed a federal budget that would cut Medicare by $845 billion, and Medicaid by $241 billion, while giving the Pentagon more than requested, and allocating $8.6 billion for the construction of a wall along our southern border that, according to national security experts, would be completely ineffective. [The Trump budget would also slash the Department of Education budget by 10%.]

Interestingly, the over $1 trillion that the Trump administration is proposing that we cut from crucial social safety net programs is roughly equal to the amount given to America’s most wealthy last year as part of the enormous Republican tax cut, which we were assured, at the time, would “pay for itself” by generating enough growth to offset any loss in tax revenues. Well, that growth never came, and, now, just as we’d predicted, they’re putting programs like Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block.

For what it’w worth, this was the Republican plan all along. Republicans knew that their unprecedented tax cuts for the wealthy would not pay for themselves. And they knew that, if they passed them, they’d then have an excuse the following year to cut so-called entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which they’ve wanted to gut for decades. What we’re seeing now is just the final blow of the one-two combination thrown by Republicans. Thankfully we now have a Democratic majority in the House that will stop this from happening, but today’s budget clearly demonstrates what the Republican priorities are.

I don’t know if it’s related, but I found it curious that, after over a month of avoiding the press, Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided that she’d hold a White House press conference today, and that, during said press conference, she’d both suggest that Democrats hated the Jews, and wanted to legalize the murder of toddlers… If I were the suspicious type, I might be inclined to think it was a planned distraction from a budget that, you can be sure, will be unpopular with Americans of every political persuasion.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think it was possible for me to like Sanders any less.

  2. iRobert
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    It’s an otherworldly experience to see how Republicans pretend not to be aware of how the president they put in office conducts himself. I now firmly believe an actual pile of excrement could be sitting in the Oval Office and we would be seeing Republicans defending it and it’s being there in a way similar to what they are doing now. I used to think there were limits to how absurd people could be collectively. I don’t know why. History has shown there are no limits.

  3. Kyle Griffin by proxy
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Trump’s proposed budget would steer $20,000,000 to a hospital project backed by golfer Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus lobbied Trump on the golf course in Florida. Trump personally directed HHS to earmark the funds, Politico reports.

  4. Ted Lieu
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I just concluded a live telephone town hall. Every fifteen minutes or so, I reminded constituents that @realDonaldTrump wants to cut $845 billion from Medicare.

    If you or a loved one rely on Medicare, you vote for Trump at your peril in 2020.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Cue the annual partisan freak out about the president’s budget which is a political document not policy with any chance ever of passing.

    I wish we could talk about such things honestly. People do not need to be more freaked out than they are.

    We have a Dem controlled house. Medicare and Medicaid will not be cut. It amazes me that the proposal to cut them is politically appealing to many whose families rely on them. Of course they’ll never feel the impact of cuts, because they won’t happen.

    And so it goes.

    Politics on all sides is an amazing load of bullshit.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    EOS is Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
    I told you EOS is a woman.

  7. M
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Jean, we know what the budget is. It’s a document where our President lays out his priorities. It’s a starting point for negotiations. No one is freaking out that Trump is going to immediately gut Medicaid. As you say, there’s no way a Democratic House would allow him to make cuts this deep. What is worth freaking out over, though, is that the Trump administration, in this document, has demonstrated yet once again where they stand on health care, education, etc.

  8. Donald Trump weighs in
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly.”

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the Dems decided to be honest about such things v milking fear for donations etc if we could hold the high ground and command more respect. Probably not. When so many populist candidates parade themselves as authentic, because it’s politically appealing, it might be a winning strategy to just tell the truth. I think we just need to admit that there’s no authenticity in effective politics. I find it frustrating, but now is not the time to experiment I guess. Spin away.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I’m reminded of Trading Places.

  11. ElsieGal
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I understand that the Pres budget is simply an opening shot and that it is unlikely to pass as is, but I still have a reaction that is neither “spin” nor fear-based. My outrage at and disagreement with the administration’s stance on health, education, immigration, the environment, and much more feels pretty authentic to me!! No, I did not automatically open my wallet and give to Dems, and, yes, I am being completely honest about these things.

  12. Bernie Sanders
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    At a time when we Americans have a total of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, it is insane that Trump’s budget would cut $207 billion from college affordability programs over 10 years and eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The Presidential budget has never passed as is. Not even close.

    Elsie– My point is that outrage is manipulated in politics on all sides. It’s a play to divisiveness. While you may understand that the Trump budget isn’t real, many do not. And the left will for sure use this moment to fundraise.

    As I said, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for outrage. We don’t need to manufacture them.

    I believe we need to start modeling a better way and a big part of that is not falling for plays to political outrage, legitimate or not. There are bots out there trying to manipulate outrage to change the results of elections. And not the way we want them to go.

    Outrage is a drug. It works in the mind like a drug. We should be wary of any plays to it.

  14. Kat
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I would argue that there’s not nearly enough outrage, given what’s at stake. I cannot believe there aren’t people in the streets every day, and I find that alarming. If this is what it takes to make people wake up to the very real threat, then I’m all for it.

  15. John Brown
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    His budget is indeed nothing more than political stroking for his viliest base. Again he cut Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90%. GLRI has overwhelming bipartisan support in the Great Lakes states because it essentially supplements all the defacto budget cuts to EPA and other agencies from inflation impacts on long term level funding. You can find the trumpiest fisherman wearing a maga hat and a “Dioxins My Ass” t-shirt at any DNR boat ramp, explain the local GLRI project to them and they are all “well hell yeah we should do that!”

  16. Lynne
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    While I agree that we do not need to react with fear, I also think that an honest discussion about this would include the following points

    1. There really are people, mostly republicans, who do want to reduce or eliminate programs like Medicare and Social Security
    2. The only really good way to prevent that is to vote in politicians who oppose that goal.
    3. Unfortunately, one cannot always trust politicians on the campaign trail (see Donald Trump)
    4. Therefore it is also important to hold the people one votes for accountable, perhaps by not voting for them again.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    There really are people, mostly republicans, who do want to reduce or eliminate programs like Medicare and Social Security (for people other than themselves).


  18. iRobert
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I can certainly sympathize with how everyone here is feeling. I have worked in government and extensively in electoral politics, and I can assure you the manipulation goes far beyond what I have ever seen discussed or even mentioned here on this blog by anyone. If you consider it logically, this should be the natural assumption. I think the vast majority of you would lose your shit if you saw even the fraction that people at the congressional level and higher deal with continuously. Jean is just scratching the surface when she says the rhetoric is a game of manipulation. In a sense, every comment on this thread has some considerable truth and insight to it, and I’d say that deserves acknowledgement. However, the yahoos here would mock any more accurate or in-depth account, and I assume this impulse to mock is really the result of some deep-seated fear of some sort. Maybe people just don’t have the self-confidence to cope if their suspicions were realized. You can see how many folks have reacted to the installation of DJT with near nervous breakdown because it’s such a shock to their notions of what is possible and how things work. I can only imagine how many more would be pushed to the edge of sanity if they were to see what isn’t being broadcast to the masses.

    I see plenty of reason to be outraged, and for reasons far beyond the obvious games leaders play to appeal to we the masses within the bounds of our ignorance. I agree it would be wise not to turn on each other so easily, for a start. These days I’m just experimenting with ways to see if I can get through to people. The results so far have not been promising, though it’s likely that I’m just not up to the challenge, intellectually. Even this comment probably hasn’t been helpful.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said a bunch of times here that our outrage, however legitimate, is a vulnerability.
    It doesn’t seem to register.

    We need to have our guards up and be discerning. We need to check and double-check information and inform ourselves. Fear-based outrage can lead to fatigue and disaffection rather than activism. It often leads to wrong action resulting in inverse outcomes to our intentions. It’s often, in and of itself, a substitute for meaningful action. We rant and get it out of our system. We need to be strategic. We need to think and work on what is actually on the table. This budget is not. And it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.

    “To paraphrase several sages: Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.” — Susan Sontag

    How long have we jumped when the DNC and Dem politicians told us to be fearful while they failed to do anything about it? Outrage is a diversionary tactic.

    And everyone here knows I’m as susceptible as anyone else. More so.

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Outrage is the fertilizer for ‘fake news’ aka disinformation.

    I would like to see the Dems somehow manage to hold a primary that is about progressive policy directions, not character assassinations and plays to fear and suspicion of critical democratic (small d) institutions like the legitimate free press. One only needs to review the US history of populist candidates who assumed power on both sides to see how effective their campaigns were and how easily corrupted. Populism is now fueled by social media. Buyer beware.

    PS Populism is not the same as grassroots activism. It pretends to be grassroots activism.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Disinformation is the new political battleground. I’m not suggesting that this post is in anyway that, BUT we need to be more discerning about our own outrage/bliss response.

    If you think you don’t feel bliss when outraged; look at the brain scans. Your reward centers light up. It impedes your ability to think clearly. I know it seems counter-intuitive but what we call judgment actually impedes our ability to discern. We think we are being discerning when we judge, but we’re being emotional. Reactive. Detachment, Buddhist-style, is the path to discernment. Western thinking is f’d up on lots of stuff around judgment. Just ask the Buddha. Or science.

  23. John Brown
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    IR, nothing you got would surprise me.

    JH, is Susan Sontag is projecting her own cowardice? Rage can indeed be useless, counterproductive if strictly reactive. Or it can be harnessed for good with leaders manipulating it on behalf of the overall well being.

    There’s crazy fuckers willing to cheat, screw and kill. Get used to it, and accept your responsibility as a decent human to stop it by any means necessary. Violence is a timeless human political currency and that won’t change. Evil fuckers will dare you to stop them, by violence. Given the choice I have no problem with the idea of abiding them. We’re playing with psychopaths, who don’t play nice.

  24. John Brown
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    JH, when fascist have control over just above any situation you can imagine being impacted by, do you think you can give them a budist-y appeal to resist base instincts? Or will they just fasch on you? Let me know how that goes…

    Hell, your buddist monks are committing genocide against rohinga. So just proves chimp DNA always wins out in a crisis. Embrace it. Control it. Use it strategically.

  25. ElsieGal
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    To be fair, Mark’s post never asserted outrage; I was the one who first used the term (“outrage at/disagreement with”) to describe my overall feelings/opinion about the current administration’s stance on certain things. The budget proposal underscored that stance and reinforced my position. I’m not looking forward to how this will play out over the next many months, but I’ll be paying attention just the same, outrage and all.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    John Brown– I was talking about politics, not activism. But activists also make mistakes and advocate for policies that don’t improve conditions and can in fact make them worse. (like anti-development aka housing activism)

    I did not say outrage was unwarranted. I said the opposite. I said it’s a vulnerability for manipulation. I provided evidence.

    I guess you’ll need to ask yourself why that simple statement upsets you so.

    PS I’m not a Buddhist. I find some of the philosophy illuminating. I don’t think any religion prevents humans from being the assholes they seem inclined to be.

  27. John Brown
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Jh, I guess I tend not to distinguish too much between politics and activism. Activism IS politics for the unelected.

    Yes Buddhism is aspirational in our immediate relationships for sure. But then there’s ghandi, mlk, and a million other martyrs, and still the fascist persist.

  28. Sad
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Today’s fascist aren’t nearly as bad as the fascist of yesteryear.

    There’s progress.

  29. John Brown
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Kinder gentler fasch?

  30. stupid hick
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I seldom comment anymore because the delusional idiocy of [insert your screen name here, you deplorable moron, and yes, I mean you] has killed my sense of humor. Even dragging Mark isn’t any fun anymore. But I am intrigued that John Brown seems to be speaking cryptically here.

    “Kinder gentler fasch(ing)”

    Translated from German means:

    “Children gentleman carnival”

    Is it some kind of reference to a liberal child sex ring in the basement of Landline Creative Labs? Isn’t anyone else suspicious that Mark would rent studio spaces to “artists” right across the street from Deja Vu?

  31. stupid hick
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    On another, serious, note, recently Jean Henry has been unusually lucid and insightful. Not that the resident un-self-aware Trump zombies would recognize it, which is a shame. In light of what we now know from John Brown about the sickening happenings in Landline’s basement, could Jean’s newfound lucidity be an effect of her participation in “spirit cooking” rituals Mark performs there?

  32. Sad
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Today’s comments aren’t nearly as bad as the comments of yesteryear.

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    John Brown– Showing up on and talking about revolution is not activism.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I found this useful and am trying to take my lessons. It’s not easy.

    Even stating the known facts about certain events with a bit of analysis/discernment/personal perspective makes people uncomfortable enough to call you a judgmental scold or a feminist bitch. I think I might feel better about my participation in social media within the political zeitgeist these days, especially as the primary is upon us, if I just hold to my own standards.

    I am truly concerned about how hot everyone is running these days. Road rage does not make safer drivers. And we really really need to improve how we respond to political news. Nothing in that says we can’t tell the truth of what is happening and not happening and how it may affect people’s lives.

  35. John Brown
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    JH, I have no illusion that it is. But it feels good, and might just get liberal bubblers thinking about it what it might take to achieve an equitable society. And fortunately there’s 24hrs in a day and my alter-ego Clark Kent actually participates in socially acceptable activist circles. In fact, at one recent meeting a member of the Mich Democratic caucus told me they expect indictment versus impeachment of Agent Orange. But that crowd doesn’t want to be in the loop on militia talk, and “politics” require I respect that. Whereas on MM there’s freedom of speech, amirite?

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Our easy outrage makes us pawns of the administration. They just throw out some nothing burger to get us all worked up while the REAL damage is being done elsewhere.

    “US official reveals Atlantic drilling plan while hailing Trump’s ability to distract public, Interior department official says he is ‘thrilled’ by Trump’s ‘knack for keeping the attention of the media and public focused somewhere else’”

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    JB– IMHO, participating in the MI Dem party caucus is also not activism.

    I’m sure there’s a left-wing militia out there somewhere who will have you. Why are you here barking at people with no interest in such tactics instead of with them?

    I understand the value of uprisings to movements for change– as part (just part) of the necessary impetus to spur change. I just don’t feel one emerging from the left. What I see is old school grassroots issues organizing being more and more effective.

    I also think they are better armed than we are. And we lack the will to meet them on that ground. There are other battlegrounds more suitable to left/progressive/liberal movements

    If at some point uprising became the best strategy, I wouldn’t object. But the mass arrests HW keeps promising haven’t happened yet.

  38. John Brown
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Opinions & Assholes. Some folks have more than one.

    Dan Kildee: “that fucker trump has his little hands wrapped around pootins kankles so dam tight”. Truth.

    I’m barking at you because the entire left of center has to become more aggressive and show absolute conviction in it’s political beliefs or we will never whip these crazy holy rollin and white supremacists zealots at the ballot box, on the floor of Congress, or on the school boards. And if libtard bubble dwellers have no interest in winning, at any cost, then they will ultimately lose.

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I prefer to stick to the democratic process to upend tyrants, yes, John Brown. Those systems integrity being the key to preventing future tyrants, which as you know come in every political stripe. I don’t actually think absolute conviction is what wins elections in a democracy. Such bombast turns off a lot of people. Most people in this country are moderate.

    I personally find your rallying cries a huge turn-off, and I probably agree with you on more things than most people. I’m not even zealously anti-gun.

    “A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like assholes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this, but I would add that opinions differ significantly from assholes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined. ” — Tim Minchin

  40. John Brown
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I think you’re reflecting the bubble mentality by discounting the political appeal of projecting conviction, or bombast if you prefer. What else does Agent Orange offer our white rural neighbor but that? There’s a big segment that want to be on an aggressively self assured political team without great concern over ideological criteria. Libtards constant re-examination of their “opinions” for dingleberries is a major sign of weakness to theses folks. The curse of the smarty pants.

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Threats of violence are not the only means to express conviction. You are the first person to ever accuse me of a lack of conviction.

    I don’t think an appeal to assholes is the Dems best chance at winning the election. That’s my conviction. We lost the white rural voter because we failed to actually serve them. We could appeal to their racism and bigotry. Or we can appeal to their better selves by actually offering them more than lip service, a rallying cry and hatred. Our president may be an asshole, but many of those who voted for him are not. And when we group them together in our judgment, we push them deeper into his corner. That’s not a way to win elections. The people I know personally who voted Trump, know I hate the man but not them. And we can have conversations about the deep well of cynicism that led them to vote for him with their middle finger up to the whole system.

  42. John Brown
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Being prepared to defend your position against violence is not in itself threatening violence. Can we get that clear? How am I threatening violence when I point out that the extreme right, cheered on by Agent Orange, are in fact threatening violence in response to lossing legally and electorally? I’m threatening defense, which connotes conviction to some observers who would say “those pussy liberals aren’t even willing to defend their position with they’re lives, fucking sheep. Not a tribe I want to join.” .

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I think that threat is nominal. The numbers of revolutionary alt right are nominal. And the FBI is tracking those mf’s finally. I don’t care if others call us sheep. It’s the essence of liberalism to have our own minds. It never reduces risk to respond to threats with threats. You don’t think those on the alt right think they are defending themselves too?

    Your rhetoric, which I tolerated for the sake of those who daily experience true risk, is tiresome. There are many ways to show strength and to defend oneself and others. I don’t believe violence demonstrates strength, just weakness.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    If the left followed your advice John Brown, we’d be heading for civil war for sure. It would only escalate. We have means of defense of our democracy and our union. There was no violence related to the midterm elections was there? Peaceful transition of power is still a core value in America. Falling for Trump’s sideshow threats makes us look like fools. It’s a distraction. He won via the electoral process and if we’re smart he’ll lose that way too.

  45. John Brown
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    JH, our president is arguably an alt right terrorist leader. Hardly a marginal threat. But you can have the last word, as you must.

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    He may want to be an alt right terrorist leader and certainly uses the rhetoric. That doesn;t mean many or even most of his followers will follow him into violent battle. Why legitimize his ego? You should talk to more of his supporters. They think we are the violent ones. They think he’s a legitimate president being harassed by his powerful opposition, which is not entirely untrue. We just think it’s justified and they don’t. Every one of these mass killers thinks they are starting the violent revolution which fails to follow. The risk to all of us is less from the violent alt-right, as horrid as they are, as they are from his legal maneuvers in power. You know the ones we ignore getting worked up about the threat of mass civilian violence that isn’t going to happen.

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