If there’s one thing Republicans excel at (other than lying and making excuses for their criminal behavior), it’s finding new ways to screw the poorest and most vulnerable among us. If you’re poor, have a disability, or cannot afford decent healthcare, it must be your fault, and you shouldn’t expect any help from the government.
House budget writers are busily working on deep new cuts to the American social safety net, including programs such as food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled, and even veterans benefits.
Worse, the budget hawks in the GOP are also looking for ways to cut as much as $400 billion in social spending through a process which would allow them to subvert Democratic filibusters in the Senate.
Additionally, those crafting the 2018 budget are also under instructions from House Speaker Paul Ryan to help him realize his long-held dream of privatizing Medicare, which could wind up leaving millions of American seniors holding the bag for increased premiums, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) told Politico:
“The Budget Committee is trying to force the entire conference and committees of jurisdiction to focus on ways to bring down this deficit.”
If grandma has to cut back on how often she eats or what medications she can afford to take, that’s just too damn bad, the Republicans seem to be saying.
An agreement which kept the government running until September reportedly angered the White House, as Trump had to take heat from the right flank of his party which suggested he had given Democrats everything they wanted while managing to not get a dime for his promised border wall. That frustration, Virginia GOP Congressman Dave Brat says, will be reflected in the 2018 budget:
“The critique last time was that we didn’t embed enough Trump agenda items into our budget. [Trump] made it clear it will be embedded in this budget. … And so people will see a process much more aligned with President Trump’s agenda in this forthcoming budget.”
Translation: More money for the Defense Department, more for a wall, and less for everything else, even if that means cutting out programs which benefit those who have served this country in combat.
Of course, all of this supposes that Trump will still be able to sign a budget if one is passed. Instead, he may be involved in the fight of his life as more revelations come out about his connections to Russia and the rigging of the 2016 election.
Featured Image Via PBS