In 2016, Trump promised to protect entitlement programs from cuts. It looks like he's been President long enough to see himself become the villain.
During his 2016 Presidential campaign, United States President Donald Trump made a lot of promises. Whether it was about his infamous US-Mexico border wall or repealing Obamacare, it seems that he has broken more promises than he's kept. And it probably seems like that because he actually has. According to The Washington Post, he made about 280 promises in the lead-up to the elections. Of this, he's kept less than a dozen of them. Now, Trump is about to walk back on another promise. At the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he suggested he would be open to cutting important funding to programs like Social Security and Medicare, The New York Times reports.
The comments arose during an interview with CNBC. When asked if cuts to Social Security and Medicare entitlements would ever be on his agenda, he responded in the affirmative. "At some point, they will be," he stated. "At the right time, we will take a look at that." He continued to suggest that curbing spending on Medicare was a possibility. "We’re going to look," he affirmed. He then quickly switched topics to talk about the American economy and its growth, highlighting his own efforts to help alleviate poverty and decrease the minority unemployment rate. Did Trump mean to imply that the need for entitlement programs had reduced because of these allegedly improving economic indicators? Perhaps.
As per the Congressional Budgeting Office, spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is expected to cost the federal government upwards of $30 trillion over the next nine years. But if President Trump has any control over it, he will drastically cut spending. In his administration's last budget proposal, he called for a total of $1.9 trillion in cost savings from the country's essential safety-net programs like Medicaid and Medicare. It also proposed spending $26 billion less on the Social Security program, comprising a $10 billion cut to the Social Security Disability Insurance program. This would have left several disabled workers scrambling to make ends meet.
His statements and budget proposals mark quite a tremendous shift from his stance four years ago while on the campaign trail. In 2016, he was the sore thumb in a line of "deficit-minded" Republican candidates, promising to protect entitlement programs from federal spending cuts. How do his voters feel about his actions? Well, that remains unclear as of now. Nonetheless, it comes as no surprise that the President would backtrack on his promises, especially when it comes to the United States budget. For instance, he promised to ensure the $1 trillion infrastructure plan will be revenue-neutral but has made no progress on introducing or advancing such a bill in the first place. Moreover, Trump guaranteed to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three and simplify tax forms. Instead, the number of tax brackets has remained constant while the forms have just become even more complex. Will this affect Trump's ability to secure a win during the 2020 Presidential elections? We can only hope, folks.