Now that we’ve seen President Trump’s proposed budget, it should be clear that he still lives in the world of Alternative Facts.
Let’s start with how the spending plan was conceived. Budget director Mick Mulvaney told us it stemmed from Trump’s promise to put the interests of America first.
Did you notice that Mulvaney didn’t say, “Americans first”? Maybe he figured that would be too obvious a lie. Because, with few exceptions, the only Americans Trump’s budget would not hurt are Trump and his wealthy friends.
They’re in line to get up to $1-trillion in tax breaks over the next ten years, by way of the proposed Obamacare replacement plan alone.
Then there are the direct payout beneficiaries of the budget: defense contractors and the rest of the military-industrial complex. The plan calls for a $54-billion increase in military spending for 2018.
In explaining the huge payout, House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested it was something American taxpayers have been calling for.
Oh really Paul?! Polls show that Americans are split about 60%-40% in favor of keeping military spending at current or lower levels.
But the worst part of the Big Budget Lie is that, in reality, it puts most Americans last. That $54-billion defense department increase would come from an equal amount in cuts to programs that greatly benefit Americans’ health, well-being and standard of living.
Environmental, educational, health-and-medical, and cultural programs would see big funding slashes across the board. Some programs and institutions would be flat-out eliminated, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, and Meals on Wheels.
Now, if you think these way-of-life programs contribute greatly to Americans’ tax burden, you’ve been snookered by yet another Alternative Fact. The truth is, they make up only a small fraction of the budget.
Need a simpler and clearer perspective on the Trump budget’s winners and losers? Check out this wish-list making the social media rounds: