President Donald Trump's budget proposal looks a lot like United States' lawmakers gave an evil toddler sugar, a red crayon, and a list of federally-funded social programs, then let him loose. The result is a mess of vast cuts to resources millions of Americans depend on. Many of those Americans are people who voted for Trump.
"By most analyses, Trump’s budget is a draconian hatchet job that slashes programs for the neediest, the poorest, and the most vulnerable Americans, to give humongous tax cuts for the wealthiest, as well as massively increasing spending on the military and on building the border wall," wrote Maria Cardona for The Hill.
The budget hacks away a reported $3.6 trillion in funding from Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), student loans, disability insurance, and retirement for federal employees, among other programs. It is certainly fulfilling a campaign promise of tightening the budget, however, Trump is doing so at the expense of lives.
CNNMoney reached out to Trump supporters in impoverished Beattyville, Kentucky, a town whose citizens voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. The people to whom journalists spoke rely on government subsidies to survive, so their responses were highlighted by worry.
"I'm still happy with President Trump," Barbara Puckett told CNNMoney. However, Puckett depends on Social Security disability because of her sclerosis, so she also expressed that she would be concerned if the budget went into law, as she could lose her benefits.
The budget proposal also cuts into government benefits for farmers, slashing crop insurance by $28.5 billion over a 10-year period. A substantial part of Trump's base comes from rural America; he had a 61 to 34 percent advantage over Hillary Clinton in those areas.
"We're in the middle of a farm crisis with no end in sight and they look at what the president's proposing and they don't see any help," said Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union and vice president of the National Farmers Union, to the McClatchy DC Bureau. "They see a slap in the face."
If Trump's budget passes Congress, many Americans would find their lives negatively altered. For Trump to build his wall and increase military spending by an estimated $54 billion, those who voted for him may have to give up much more than they were prepared for. When the impact of that loss hits, the political landscape could look very different come the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election.