Throughout the 2016 campaign, a great deal of media attention was given to Donald Trump’s outright cruelty and blatant bigotry – neither of which was all that difficult to find. Pundits repeatedly thought Trump was finished – whether it was after he impersonated a disabled New York Times reporter at one of his rallies or ridiculed John McCain’s military record or bragged about sexual assault on video.
What should have been obvious is that many of his supporters liked him because of these things – that his biggest blunders weren’t all that far off from things they’ve said or thought, and he must be a crusader for them, a strong man who will protect their way of life like nobody else could. This idea was even further cemented by the fact that Donald Trump not only promised that he wouldn’t cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid – but that he alone could prevent these programs from crashing.
His budget for 2020 and beyond happens to say otherwise. Cutting nearly twice as much from Medicare as he did from last year, the White House budget proposal would cut $846 billion from Medicare over the next decade, and another $1.5 trillion from Medicaid – as Trump seeks to prevent the very same Medicaid expansion that a number of states backed overwhelmingly in the last election. When Trump told his base “I don’t need your vote anymore,” during his stupid post-election victory tour, he was actually telling the truth for once – at least as far as what he thought of his own base.
The death of Medicaid, as this budget would entail, would be a massive kickback for his donors – and a means for Donald Trump to finally get his wall, for which he is demanding twice the amount of money that he has in the past. He gets all this winning while seniors have an even harder time finding healthcare and paying for prescriptions. We have now reached a point where Trump has proven who he is to both his detractors and supporters alike. The fight to stop this draconian budget has only begun – and will be one of the most important.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making