Economist Joseph Stiglitz on Trump’s Budget: ‘It Doesn’t Make Any Economic Sense’
On Tuesday, the Trump administration unveiled its $4.1 trillion 2018 budget. Critics lambasted the plan, saying it will destroy important programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps, disability assistance and student loans.
Nobel Prize-winning economist and author Joseph Stiglitz expanded on these concerns in an interview with Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman.
“It’s made up,” he said of the new budget. “You could say it’s a collection of lies put together. It doesn’t make any economic sense. I don’t think anybody who’s looked at it can fathom the economics.”
Stiglitz explained which programs in particular would be decimated by the new budget:
He cuts out support for science, for R&D, which is the basis of productivity growth. He cuts out support for job retraining, so when people leave one job, they can be trained for the next job. He cuts out support for Pell Grants, so those who have low income[s] can get the education so they can live up to their potential. …
And remember, what he’s doing, he’s cutting out the estate tax that benefits 0.2 percent of the economy—of our society. You know, you have to have an estate of more than 10 million, if you’re a married couple, in order to pay anything on the estate tax. And meanwhile, he’s cutting benefits for ordinary Americans—education, health, as you mentioned, food, nutrition. It’s not just the system of social protection that we’ve created, but even the bottom safety net that […] catches people when they’re in trouble.
Stiglitz, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton, added that Trump “lied” during his campaign when he promised not to cut Medicaid. He also notes that Trump’s budget cuts could affect America’s standing in the United Nations.
“The American dream, we’ve gradually understood, is really a myth, the fact that anybody can go from the bottom to the top,” Stiglitz says. “This is, what is remnant of that American dream, [Trump is] saying, ‘I’m going to hit it with a sledgehammer.’ “
Watch the full interview below:
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.