US 2019 Budget Favors Foreign Conflicts Over Poor Americans

US 2019 Budget Favors Foreign Conflicts Over Poor Americans
REUTERS/ Leah MillisUS03:41 14.02.2018(updated 03:42 14.02.2018) Get short URL110

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump released his “efficient, effective and accountable” budget for fiscal year 2019 and, to no surprise, social programs are on the chopping block.

Aside from wanting to privatize the International Space Station and eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, Trump is also looking to cut food assistance programs by $214 billion. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program is also going to be cut by $21 billion.

While both Medicaid and Medicare say goodbye to $250 billion and $550 billion, respectively, in Trump’s budget, military spending will see an increase of $777 billion. In short, the Trump administration is looking to swing its MAGA-branded axe at social programs that help poor Americans, some of which might have even voted for Trump, in order to toss more money to military contractors.

Speaking to Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear, financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that Trump’s plans are going to leave the US in a financial mess down the road.

“The tax cuts, along with these new budget proposals, will cause ballooning deficits — tremendous ones for the United States,” Sankey told Becker. “When you think about it, I think that [when politicians] complain about the budget deficit… it’s really just an excuse to attack social programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, which have benefited so many people.” 

“[It’s] going to cause some incredible deficits in the future and I can promise you that politicians are going to use that as an excuse to cut social services. However, what they will not do is use it as an excuse to roll back on the military budget… that is simply off the table,” Sankey added, before doubling down on the notion that the Trump administration prefers to create weapons that end life than create programs that promote life. 

In Sankey’s opinion, the only way that social programs can be saved from the trash bin is if people mobilize.

“How they might be saved is really a matter of grassroots organizing and mass movements,” the analyst suggested. “It’s really a moral question. Do we want to be a society that prioritizes the death and violence abroad in foreign nations, as we rain down drone strikes upon them, or do we want to be a nation that prioritizes the [betterment of Americans lives]?” 

“Right now the decision is being made that wars abroad take priority — it’s absurd,” he added.

It’s unfortunate, but what’s keeping people in the US from having a comfortable life is military contractors, noted Sankey.

“There’s plenty of money… there’s an absurd amount of money — people could have a very comfortable life,” Sankey urged. “There could be education for all, there could be housing and yet the only thing that’s standing in the way is military contractors who are making billions and billions of dollars.”