New polling today confirmed that Donald Trump is in just about the exact same 2020 hole he was in before he was acquitted, meaning that acquittal didn’t help him one bit. If you’re a regular Palmer Report reader, you knew this was coming. It’s a reminder that Trump’s base alone isn’t nearly large enough to put him over the top in 2020, and that he has to find a way to significantly expand his support if he wants any shot at reelection.
And yet, even as Trump should be desperately trying to figure out how to win over the people who have never really loved or hated him, he’s releasing a new budget today that proposes to slash billions of dollars from the social safety net. To be clear, this budget will not happen. It’s merely a proposal, and it obviously won’t get through the Democratic House. It’s just Trump’s attempted starting point for upcoming budget negotiations. But it’s still an incredibly dumb thing to announce. So why did he do it?
Why does Donald Trump do anything? He’s a pretend billionaire who’s actually deeply in debt, and spent his entire time in office abusing his position to try to get his hands on as much cash as possible. His new budget proposal is a disaster for everyone but certain corrupt wealthy people, so it’s a given that he released this proposal as a gift to the corrupt wealthy people whose money he’s been seeking.
In other words, Donald Trump faced the choice today of either releasing a working class-friendly budget proposal that he could campaign on, or an unpopular budget proposal that the Democrats can use against him in the 2020 election. He chose the latter, because he’s more focused on the short term grift than he is on winning. Considering he’s been reduced to changing his state residency and putting his most profitable hotel lease up for sale just to try to salvage his financial situation, it’s probably not a surprise that he’s just focused on trying to survive financially to the end of the week.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report