Every Voice


Trump’s Budget Boosts Wealthy Corporate Interests at Expense of Ordinary Americans

March 16, 2017 | Adam Smith

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash critical programs to feed hungry children and seniors, investments in science and medical research, and information services while ballooning programs that’ll benefit the big donors who funded his campaign and inauguration. It’s a budget that reflects the priorities of wealthy corporate interests and a perfect example of how our political system too often benefits those able to buy access and influence at the expense of ordinary Americans.

These cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels, public broadcasting, and the arts come as Trump continues to profit off the presidency and his cabinet of billionaire donors struggles to divest more than $1 billion in combined assets.

Here are just a few examples of how big donors will benefit from this budget:

  • The budget proposes an additional $1.5 billion for immigrant detention and deportation, an unnecessary and inhumane line item that’ll tear families apart while weakening our economy and not making us any safer. Some of these detention centers are run by private prison companies that made huge donations to Trump’s super PAC and inauguration.
  • It proposes a massive increase in defense spending of $54 billion while bragging that “This increase alone exceeds the entire defense budget of most countries.” Boeing, one of the country’s largest defense contractors donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration and its CEO has already met with Trump in the Oval Office.
  • While the budget proposes major cuts to programs that feed poor children and seniors, run by the Agricultural Department, there’s nothing mentioned about the sugar subsidies program the department runs. It was recently reported that candy makers have been holding events at Trump’s properties as it lobbies against cuts to these subsidies

This is not the first time Trump’s presidency has raised questions about the role of big money in his administration.  Just weeks ago, Trump spoke at a retreat of the Republican Party’s top donors begging them for money. He has filled his administration with major donors to his campaign. Despite his pledge to reduce the power of lobbyists, his administration is crawling with them. He nominated a justice to the Supreme Court who believes corporations are people.

This budget is why we need solutions to our money-in-politics problems that put power in the hands of the people, not these wealthy donors and special interests. We need to give small donors a voice in the process through legislation like the Government by the People Act, so we have a system that’s truly of, by, and for the people.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith is Every Voice's communications director.