Donald Trump has released his proposed budget for 2018. It is ludicrous and horrifying at the same time -- and shows once again that the only Americans he cares about are his rich buddies. Almost everyone else would be hurt by this mean-spirited budget.
Nearly every domestic program will see huge cuts (on top of the austerity the GOP Congress has already imposed on them). The Environmental Protection Agency will be cut by nearly 30% -- making it impossible for them to insure clean air and water, or fight global climate change. The Agriculture Department will also be cut by a whopping 29% -- and you can be sure those cuts will mostly affect small farmers and SNAP beneficiaries, not the huge and rich farming conglomerates.
Heal and Human Services will be cut by 23% -- meaning the poor and disadvantaged will receive much less help. The Labor Department will be cut by over 21% -- making it harder for them to serve unemployed workers. Housing and Urban Development will be cut over 15% -- and much of that will be in housing assistance for the poor. Education will be cut by nearly 14% -- and much of the remaining money will be directed to charter and private schools, seriously damaging our public school system. The Small Business Administration will be cut by over 11% -- making it harder for those businesses to get the funding they need to survive and grow. And the Justice Department will be cut by 3.5% -- making it harder for them to protect Americans and insure equal rights under the law.
The budget does increase funding for veterans, perhaps the only budget item that makes sense. It also increases the military budget by 10% (a huge $54 billion) -- but you can bet that money won't go to our fighting men and women. It will be gobbled up by the corporations of the military-industrial complex.
I expected a bad budget from Trump, but this budget is shockingly bad. Some Republicans are saying changes will be made before it is passed in Congress, but don't expect those changes to be ones that help struggling Americans. I think most of them are absolutely giddy at the prospect of deeply cutting most domestic programs (the programs that actually help Americans). They have been chipping away at those programs for years, and now they have what they've wanted -- the opportunity to make massive cuts to them.
And I suspect the 2018 budget is just the start. It's going to be a very tough time under the Trump administration for most people. And at the end of it this country will be poorer, sicker, more dangerous, and have a dirtier environment. But the rich will be better off -- and that's all Trump and the Republicans really want.