LETTER: Trump wants to cut program he once promised to protect

To Ozaukee Press:

In 2016, Donald Trump boasted that he was the only Republican candidate who would protect Social Security and Medicare. So why does his proposed 2020 budget actually slash Medicare spending by $800 billion and Medicaid $200 billion over 10 years? These cuts will mean reduced payments to hospitals and other medical providers, and could be devastating to many rural hospitals.

The budget also proposes a $25 billion cut to Social Security, including $10 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance. Even without a recession, Social Security faces a revenue shortfall by 2034, and nearly a 25% reduction in benefits. That’s an ominous forecast for half of current retirees who depend on the program for 60% of their income. For nearly a third, that figure jumps to 90%.

There’s a simple reason for this fiscal austerity. The 2017 Republican tax cut legislation has driven the deficit to the highest level in nearly 70 years, and is expected to top $1 trillion in 2020. Moreover, 2018 saw a 30% decline in corporate taxes and double the number of Fortune 500 companies that paid no federal taxes.

We have a booming economy, and to pair a record deficit with cuts to vital entitlement programs is simply political malfeasance. However, Republicans have never wavered in their quest to curtail, privatize or voucherize every social insurance program, including the Affordable Care Act. Some have characterized this as starving the (government spending) beast.         I think Republicans want to reshape the country into a libertarian wonderland, and President Trump is a willing accomplice. He’s a plutocrat, not a populist, and his circle of advisers, like Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, appear determined to eviscerate entitlement programs.

So while President Trump and his minions pay lip service to protecting social insurance programs, it’s Democrats who will ensure they remain financially viable and pay the full promised benefits for current and future generations.

Greg Melcher
Port Washington

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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