Montana Voices: Trump’s budget bad for Montana

By the Montana Budget and Policy Center

President Trump’s budget makes the lives of every day Montanans harder in order to give large new tax breaks to the powerful and wealthy. It slashes nutrition, health care, job training, and other important assistance that helps hundreds of thousands of Montanans meet basic living standards like food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care.”

This budget stands in stark contrast to the commitments the President made during his campaign to help those left behind by today’s economy. It would also shift significant costs to Montana at a time when our state is already struggling to meet needs for higher education, senior and disability services, and infrastructure that Montanans rely on.”

For example, the President’s budget would:

  • – Slash the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) by $193 billion over ten years targeting the elderly, working families and workers struggling to find a job — and shifting the cost of more than $100 billion of SNAP benefits to states.
  • – Cut $600 billion from Medicaid over ten years — on top of the already massive cuts in Medicaid and subsidies for private coverage included in the House-passed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. These additional cuts almost certainly would further increase the number of uninsured Montanans and would shift additional, significant Medicaid costs to Montana on top of the $3 billion cost shift in the House health bill.
  • – Cut disability programs by $72 billion, including Social Security Disability Insurance, for workers with disabilities and their families, and Supplemental Security Income, which provides income assistance to poor individuals, including children, with disabilities.
  • – Deeply cut investments that spur long-term economic growth, from job training to education to scientific research. The budget would cut funding for this part of the budget by $54 billion in 2018 alone. The proposed cuts grow far deeper over the decade – the President is proposing for this part of the budget to be cut by more than 40 percent as compared to 2017 after adjusting for inflation. These cuts would take funding for this part of the budget to its lowest level since the Hoover Administration as a share of the economy.

At the same time, the President is proposing huge tax cuts largely for the wealthy and corporations that would likely cost several trillion dollars over the coming decade, if honestly measured. The budget relies on unrealistic economic assumptions, gimmicks, and “magic asterisks” to hide that the President’s tax cuts would dramatically increase deficits and debt.

“Montana’s delegation must not simply oppose the Trump budget. They must oppose cuts to assistance that helps Montanans achieve a basic living standard. They must oppose cuts to investments in long-run economic growth and basic public services. They must oppose cuts to Medicaid. And, they must oppose massive tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest.”

The Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Our core focus is publishing credible, timely, and easy-to-understand reports on the fiscal policies that most impact low and moderate income Montanans. Our research and analysis then informs public policy, the media and the broader public.