Email #168: “Save … Medicaid”?

The White House email I received yesterday announced:

“The President’s Budget does not cut core Social Security benefits. And the President is fulfilling his presidential campaign promise not to cut Medicare benefits.”

But what about his promise not to cut Medicaid? He said it in the same sentence in May 2015:

“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

He tweeted it too:

“I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.”

And he said it again a month later when he officially declared he was running for President:

“Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.”

But the President’s budget would cut over $800 billion from Medicaid over the next decade. Medicaid provides health care for the neediest Americans. The President also cuts $272 billion from welfare programs, including $193 billion from food assistance. Even Rep. Mark Meadows, leader of the House Freedom Caucus, was disturbed:

“Meals on Wheels, even for some of us who are considered to be fiscal hawks, may be a bridge too far.”

In exchange, the budget eliminates the estate tax, which only affects estates worth more than $5.5 million and raised $19.3 billion in 2014. The President would also reduce the tax rate for those with the highest incomes and eliminate the alternative minimum tax. Instead of paying 39.6%, people earning over $418,400 would pay only 35%. The Atlantic calculates that the wealthiest 1% of Americans would save over $1,000,000 each. According to his 2005 tax records, the President would personally save over $31,000,000.

People who receive Medicaid and food stamps are at or below the poverty level. That’s $27,821 for a family of three.

How can the President submit a budget that offsets tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest through cuts to programs that benefit the most needy? Budget director Mulvaney calls this “reform.”

I call it repulsive.

It is your moral duty to reject this budget.

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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