The budget will never pass -- not just won't it ever get past the Democratic House, it likely won't get past the Republican Senate. There are more than enough Republican senators up for reelection in 2020 who would like to get reelected.
But that's the point to what in some ways was a larger story that didn't get covered. And that's that Trump's budget proposal may have been the final nail in the coffin for his own deeply-shaky reelection chances.
It doesn't matter that the budget won't pass, nor that the core of his base may love the proposal. What matters is that he made the proposal. The cut Medicare. By $817 billion.
I am sure that right now the Democratic National Committee is making TV ads for the 2020 election that have footage of Trump repeatedly, endlessly promising that he will never, ever, not ever cut Medicare. And then show footage of news coverage of Trump proposing that Medicare be cut. By $817 billion.
Here's something that must be understood down to one's toes: people over 65 REALLY LOVE MEDICARE. In fact, people over 60 who are nearing 65 REALLY LOVE MEDICARE.
Mind you, I didn't say Democrats Really Love it. I said "people." It not only drastically cuts one's medical costs and offers significant health protection. (There's a reason that the proposal for full national health care is referred to as "Medicare For All"...) But it offers those massive benefits at a time when people are likely to face more medical needs -- and at at time when no longer have a steady income. To cut Medicare benefits may literally be a "life and death" proposition. Regardless of what your party is. It's a health issue. It's a life and death issue. It's an economic issue. It's a broken promise issue -- over the kind of promise you really don't want to break.
Cutting Medicare can be the kind of thing that can get people to become activists. And get people who might have otherwise voted Republican not vote Republican. And vote Democratic to save their Medicare.
To be clear, I'm not saying that ALL Republicans over 60 would vote Democratic because of Trump proposing to cut Democratic. But you don't need ALL of them to. More to the point, you may only need to focus on Independents who were hesitatingly leaning Republican.) A shift of only 2% of the electorate, whatever their association, can shift a 50-50 election into an easy 52-48 victory. A shift of just 5% can turn a close election into a landslide.
And remember: Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million. And he sneaked through in the Electorate College by a razor thin margin of only about 70,000 votes in a few states. And it's not like he's done anything in two years in office to pick up any of those votes that went against him before.
So, TV ads and campaign speeches that remind people over 60 that Trump not only broke a Really Major Promise not to get Medicare and Medicaid made a proposal to cut Medicare and Medicaid. By over a TRILLION DOLLARS!!!
This was something off-the-cuff he rambled on in a speech. This was a budget cut that went through levels and deep levels of discussion and analysis. And in the end, enough people somehow thought this was a really great idea. Go back on a major promise and cut back a life-and-death program that a massive part of the electorate of both parties REALLY LOVE. And many dearly need.
"We will actually protect your Medicare and Medicaid. Trump will promise he will -- but he promised it over and over...and then proposed to cut it by over a trillion dollars."
Coming soon to a 2020 campaign near you.