Yesterday, Trump released more details on his FY2020 proposal, attempting to justify billions of cuts to healthcare, nutrition, and more under the pretext that “it is imperative that the Congress take meaningful action to refocus Federal priorities and reign in spending.” Throughout his budget, as he slashes funding for teacher training and affordable housing for seniors, people with disabilities, and children, he asserts that “current fiscal constraints” are forcing his hand. These are crocodile tears. New analysis from National Women’s Law Center tallies the cuts that Trump proposes to major programs disproportionately serving women and families in FY2020, and finds $62 billion of cuts – ranging from health care to nutrition to education – would take place in the first year’s budget outlays alone.
It seems our president discovered deficits just in time to rationalize slashing supports for women and families. A year ago when he was signing the tax bill, he had no problem adding $1.9 trillion to the deficit for tax breaks for millionaires and corporations. Fast forward to 2019, and literally ONE provision of the Trump tax scam that slashes corporate rates for companies will pay out more to the wealthy this year than the entire cost of the $62 billion in cuts to women and families we calculated.
This Robin Hood in reverse attitude is par for the course for this administration. Trump’s cabinet has taken a “let them eat cake” attitude towards struggling workers (can’t everyone just take out a loan when they don’t get paid for 35 days?). But this budget takes it to the next level, proposing to take away people’s homes, health care, and nutrition assistance if they can’t report enough hours of work. Trump administration officials have obviously never worked in jobs where they have asked for more hours, but not gotten them, or had their hours or shifts cut when they reported harassment, or been unable to work when they can’t find or afford child care — because this budget willfully ignores the realities of working families’ lives.
We wish we could ignore this budget (believe us, we wish we could). But it’s important to take a long, hard look under the hood for a number of reasons. First, so we can be on the lookout for agency and legislative proposals that follow its mean-spirited lead, such as imposing cuts unilaterally on income support programs. Second, it shows us the negotiating position of the Trump administration in upcoming spending bills. And third, it shows us the warped values and priorities of this administration in excruciating detail, underscoring the urgency of our collective work to do better for women and families.
The disdain for women and families is bad enough. But when their hardship is used to finance tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, it’s doubly offensive.
Methodology. Cuts to programs serving women and families: NWLC calculations based on Office of Management and Budget, “A Budget for a Better America – President’s Budget FY 2020,” Supplemental Materials, Outlays, available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/. 194 programs within the Departments of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Labor were cut in the president’s budget between FY 2019 and 2020. 35 of those programs disproportionately served women and families, totaling $61.8 billion in cuts between FY 2019 and 2020. Cutting the corporate tax rate: Joint Committee on Taxation, ”Estimated Budget Effects of the Conference Agreement for HR 1, the ”Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” available at https://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=startdown&id=5053. Reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent is estimated to cut corporate tax revenue by $125.3 billion in 2019.