The Trump-Pence Budget:

Trump to the Poor: Starve and Die!

May 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Trump/Pence regime’s final version of their budget for 2018 was made public on May 23. Its grotesque title—”A New Foundation for American Greatness”—should really be called the Fascist Starve or Die Budget.

In the name of “balancing” a budget that massively increases funds for the U.S. military, for hunting down immigrants, and for unleashing police in the inner cities, these monsters are calling for over $1 trillion dollars in cuts over the next decade to the most vital needs of tens of millions of people forced to live on the bottom rungs of this society. These cuts are genocidal in their intent, and in their effect. They are going to cause enormous harm to millions of Black, Latino, Native American, and other oppressed people, and to millions of poor, elderly, and disabled whites as well. The architects of this budget are fully aware that it is going to cost people’s lives.

  • Medical coverage is being taken away from an estimated 10 million people in the first year, and 23 million over the next 10 years. Medicaid provides medical coverage to more than 74 million people who cannot afford private insurance plans, including 60 percent of nursing home residents and millions of people who are disabled. The Trump/Pence budget cuts Medicaid by over $800 billion dollars in the next decade. That’s one-fourth of the budget. How many will have to stop taking life-saving medications because of the cost? How many will avoid seeing a doctor until they’re so sick they have to go to the emergency room? What will it mean to the mentally ill, the disabled, or the elderly?
  • Women’s health is attacked in the budget, which refuses to allow any Medicaid funds at all to go for services provided by Planned Parenthood. Life-saving health services like cervical and breast cancer screenings and pregnancy care are being cut off to as many as 2.5 million women who rely on Planned Parenthood and have no other choice because of cost, or because no other provider exists where they live. This will make access to affordable abortions even more difficult.
  • Close to $200 billion in food will be ripped away from a section of the nearly 44 million children, elderly, and disabled, as well as the working poor, the homeless, and mentally ill who count on food stamps for the most basic nutritional assistance. Already, one out of five kids in this country struggle with food hunger. A recent study found that food insecurity in early childhood is associated with impaired brain development, lower academic achievement and more frequent hospitalizations. How many more children will be forced to go without meals at the hands of this regime?

The Trump/Pence budget, with all of its targeted attacks on the poor and oppressed, is designed to demoralize people and reduce them to the status of a despised, “lesser” group, and to get the rest of society to “go along,” if only passively, and thus enable this inhumanity to become the new norm.

The “Taxpayer First” Lie

How are these fascists “selling” a plan so cold-blooded that it openly tells a section of people they’re on their own to starve or die? According to the introduction by Trump, this budget “champion(s) the hardworking taxpayers.” This bullshit appeal to “taxpayers” is really a code word the Trump/Pence regime uses to appeal to its most hard core, racist social base. They’re being mobilized behind the white-supremacist rallying cry: “No more stealing money from us hardworking taxpayers to give handouts to those ‘lazy,’ criminal Black and other oppressed people, and the immigrants who’ve come here just to mooch off government handouts.”

Who Really Feeds Whom?

But where does all of this wealth actually come from? Who creates it? For 250 years there was the horror of the slaves’ unpaid labor in conditions that were an almost indescribable hell... followed by the century of super-exploitation that built up the industry of the U.S., where Black workers were confined to the most dangerous, most low-paid and filthiest jobs, first fired and last hired... down to today, with Black people continuing to be discriminated against and oppressed when it comes to employment and credit.

Or take the immigrants, who are being exploited mercilessly and off whose backs a tremendous amount of surplus value has been created—first in the countries they left, and now here, as part of the international accumulation process of capitalism-imperialism. Undocumented immigrants are denied welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. And yet they pay billions of dollars in taxes to Social Security—for retirement benefits they will never receive. In fact, “The Social Security system has grown increasingly reliant on this stream of revenue [from the undocumented workers], particularly as aging Baby Boomers start to retire.”[*]

Why Is There No Right to Eat?

But the more fundamental question is: Why is something as basic to morality and humanity as access to food, or medicine, not guaranteed? Why, in the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, is there no “right to eat”? Bob Avakian has spoken very powerfully to why, under capitalism, there can be no “right to eat”:

If this became a mass phenomenon—people taking something as basic as food, for which they have a vital need but which many cannot afford under this system—the system would come completely unraveled. And that is why, although the law does not make it illegal to lay people off work and have people unemployed—since that is actually crucial to the dynamics of capitalist accumulation—it does make it illegal to act on the right to eat without paying for what you eat. And, if people do declare that they have a right to eat, regardless of whether they can be employed in a way that makes profit for some capitalist, then they are denounced by at least certain representatives and spokespeople of sections of the ruling class as “lazy” and “undeserving” people. (From Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon, Part 1: REVOLUTION AND THE STATE)

What the Trump/Pence regime is out to accomplish through this budget is criminal and genocidal. This cannot be allowed to become the “new normal.” It has to unleash a clarion call, more urgently than ever, to drive these fascists from power. Don’t Normalize... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Collaborate!


[*] “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes,” Alexia Fernandez Campbell, The Atlantic, September 12, 2016. [back]



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