DC Broke the Budget– and the English Language

“Trump budget includes deep cuts to health care and safety net programs” – CNN

“Trump’s $4.8 Trillion Budget Would Cut Safety Net Programs and Boost Defense” – New York Times 

“Trump Proposes $4.8 Trillion Budget, With Cuts to Safety Nets” – The Wall Street Journal 

“Trump vowed to not cut Social Security and Medicare — hours before proposing just that” – Vox

That’s the media narrative surrounding the Trump administration’s proposed 2021 budget. Now, I should note that this is only a proposed budget and the amount of panic over a proposed budget that hasn’t even gotten to Congress yet is ludicrous. That said, spending on the three major entitlement programs has grown out of control. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid take up over half the federal budget. The federal government is basically a retirement home with tanks and nukes.

But I’ve paid attention to federal budget politics long enough not to take these narratives at face value. So I went and checked the proposed budget myself (Table S-4 on page 112, to be more precise). Imagine my surprise when I saw Social Security spending increase every single year for the next decade. Medicare and Medicaid spending too. Over the next decade, the administration proposed Social Security spending rise by 775 billion, Medicare by 547 billion, and Medicaid by 159 billion. The table below shows just how much these programs expand.

“Cuts”– only in DC.

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