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A statement by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

President Donald Trump’s $4.1 trillion 2018 budget proposal – delivered in absentia because it’s so bad – is full of cuts for the poor, a massive increase in military spending, unspecified large tax reductions promised to the rich and big corporations and more cuts if necessary.

Charles Dickens’ cold-hearted miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, has come early to America.

The Trump budget is comprised of 13 major initiatives and 9 of them are an all-out assault on the poor.  Among Trump’s 10-year proposed budget cuts are more than $800 billion from Medicaid, affecting 10 million low-income Americans, many living in nursing homes; significantly cutting health care services received through Planned Parenthood ($2.5 billion); slashes in Food Stamp by $192 billion; dramatic cuts in the Meals on Wheels and children’s breakfast and lunch programs; cuts of $72 billion from disability benefits; and $272 billion over-all from welfare programs. The proposal is accompanied with the promise of an unrealistic economic growth rate of three percent. 

The document – “A New Foundation for American Greatness” – is actually based on nothing new, but the same old Republican ideology and policies of massive tax cuts for the rich because they deserve government help and massive budget cuts for the poor because they don’t deserve government help. 

The focus and sympathies are clear for the current Budget Director and former right-wing South Carolina Republican congressman Mick Mulvaney: “This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes.”  Mulvaney conveniently overlooks the fact that many low-income Americans don’t pay federal income taxes because they are poor and don’t make enough income.

Unlike Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ Christmas novel, who finally learned to enjoy the Good News of Christmas, there is little if any evidence that the cold-blooded conservative Confederate political base that is the foundation of support for this business-tycoon-come-president will in the future ever be converted and come to know the true spirit and joy of the Good News of Christmas.  This Confederate-like thinking has been with us and dominated conservative thinking since 1861.

To that, we say, Bah. Humbug.

Schakowsky Statement on President Trump’s FY18 Budget Proposal 

“Today’s proposal is a budget of broken promises, and a cruel betrayal of Donald Trump’s own supporters. This budget would give massive tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy and large corporations while ripping funding away from vital programs that give the rest of Americans a leg up. If enacted, President Trump’s proposals would leave Americans poorer, sicker, less educated, and less able to achieve a decent standard of living. Despite candidate Trump’s promises to leave Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security alone, President Trump’s budget slashes them.  

“President Trump’s budget is a clear outline of his Administration’s twisted priorities. Speaker Paul Ryan and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney have used words like compassion and mercy to describe their plots to take away food assistance, health care, and disability insurance from those who need them. Clearly they don’t understand what those words mean.  

“This budget fails to invest in the creation of good jobs and slashes critical scientific and medical research. Local governments would be forced to end vital community efforts like Meals on Wheels. Money would be taken away from great neighborhood schools like the ones I attended and handed to private schools. Our air and water would be threatened as well – this budget would end successful clean water efforts like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In his budget, President Trump gives a helping hand to his old boardroom cronies, and leaves everyone else to fend for themselves.  

A few weeks ago, my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus and I provided an alternative budget – The People’s Budget. Where President Trump and the Republicans take health care away, we propose building on the Affordable Care Act with a public option and a solution to the prescription drug cost crisis. We demand that millionaires, billionaires, and multinational corporations pay their fair share so that we can invest in the future of the middle class and those who aspire to be middle class. Ours is not just an alternative budget; it’s a roadmap for the resistance.”