Liberals always greet proposals to reduce government spending with panic and fear mongering. The left-wing media’s response to President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal was no exception.
In the words of liberal sites and publications like Slate, Alternet, The New York Times and The Guardian, the “heartless” budget was everything from “cruelty” to delusion. It “betrayed” the poor, or worse. Comedian Stephen Colbert actually described the budget as being built on a foundation of the “ground-up bones of poor people” in a May 23, Late Show monologue.
AlterNet slammed the budget for its “15 Most Heartless Proposals” in the headline, before adding it “is not just mean, cruel and uninformed; it’s delusional.” AlterNet’s long list of complaints included tax cuts, EPA cuts, building a border wall, reductions to disability insurance, cuts to food stamps and more.
While Slate called Trump a “con artist” and claimed the budget was his “biggest fraud since Trump University.” Jamelle Bouie, Slate’s chief political correspondent, wrote that the president’s claims about health care, higher wages, new jobs and other issues were a “scam.”
“There is no relief coming. No help with health care or jobs. Instead, if Trump and his team could govern by fiat, they would siphon trillions of dollars from the federal government to fill the coffers of the wealthiest people in the country, breaking his promises and immiserating millions of low-income and working Americans of all political stripes,” Bouie added.
Another Slate story called the budget “frightening” because of a “repugnant grab bag of spending cuts.” After explaining why the budget won’t pass, Slate’s Moneybox columnist Jordan Weissmann got to his complaint that the budget is “a sign he won’t stop Republicans enacting whatever rash part of their agenda they manage to legislate.”
The New York Times opinion contributor Steven Rattner knocked the budget with an op-ed declaring, “The Math is Phony but the Cruelty Isn’t.” Opinion contributor Maria Cardona wrote in The Hill that the budget “betrayed” working-class voters.
Maintaining the “heartless” theme, an opinion column in The Guardian also claimed the budget “targets” “the poor, the sick, many in rural red states Trump won.” That op-ed described Trump as “playing ‘bad cop’ with his extremist budget proposal.”
Colbert and many others who complained about cuts to food stamps ignored the dramatic increase in spending and participation in the program after expansions in 2002, 2008 and former President Obama’s 2009 stimulus legislation. The comedian also attacked proposed cuts to the CDC, while ignoring complaints about wasteful spending and duplication of effort by that federal agency.