With its 2018 federal budget proposal, the Trump administration made public, and made plain, its priorities for our nation. Its vision for America is one where the sick, children, families and the disabled are sacrificed for tax breaks for the very wealthiest and giveaways to trillion-dollar corporations.
Our economy has been meticulously engineered to divert the flow of money to the top of the income scale. Everything from our tax code to our housing policy to our education policy to our trade policy is designed to make it nearly impossible for someone to scale the walls of structural racism and classism and climb out of poverty.
That’s the wall that this budget constructs and yes, Trump wants the poor and middle class to pay for it.
This budget proposal is cruel to the point of absurdity. But we will not be fooled by bait-and-switch budget games where we are offered congressional budgets that promise a “kinder, gentler” gutting of our families and communities.
Millions of Americans, most of them children, live in extreme poverty. A hundred million more are struggling every day to afford the basics of life – and that’s under our current spending priorities.
We need to move forward to solutions that bring secure food, housing, and health care to everyone. Any step backward is a step away from where we need to be going. Our vision lays out some of the steps we need to take to get us on the right path. We reject this budget, which reads like the monologue of a Bond villain, and we will reject any budget that moves us the wrong way through cuts.
Calls like ours and our allies to provide the services people actually need to survive are often met with scorn by conservatives. They say we cannot govern from our hearts, that doing harm to the disabled, veterans and seniors just makes good economic sense. They are wrong on both counts. This is absurd on every front and it also just straight up poor economics.
First, the vast majority of Americans of both parties have a moral center and want one for our nation and they can see how grossly these policies violates that moral core.
Second, history has proven time and time again that trickle down doesn’t work; that run-away inequality weakens our nation and our society; and that when we all do well, we all do better. The honest reason for these policies is much more mundane. It is a naked grab for every cent they can hoard for themselves and their uber-rich friends, disguised as “personal responsibility.”
That is not what the people of this country want or need. We need a government and economy that works for us – one that provides good jobs building housing, repairing our water infrastructure – and that meet everyone’s basic needs, regardless of their age, ability, financial or immigration status.