Here comes the Trump budget: Big cuts for struggling families, big spending for military hardware

Donald Trump is releasing his second budget Monday, and … it’s a Donald Trump budget. In the government, budgets are statements of priorities rather than determining actual spending, but a statement of priorities is always a good way to assess a politician. And Trump’s priorities aren’t even a little bit surprising: defense spending and going after immigrants, yes; the services American families rely on, no.

Trump’s budget will lay out “an aggressive set of spending reforms” to reduce the deficit by $3 trillion over a decade, according to a preview released by the White House on Sunday.

“Just like every American family, the Budget makes hard choices: fund what we must, cut where we can, and reduce what we borrow,” White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said in a statement.

Maybe if Republicans hadn’t already made the choice to give corporations and wealthy people a giant tax break, the budget choices would be a little less hard. Except the language of hard choices is dishonest here: people like Donald Trump and Mick Mulvaney revel in slashing programs that matter to middle- and working-class families.

But there’s one thing that definitely won’t be cut:

Trump is seeking a massive boost to the Pentagon to allow for a “ready, larger, and more lethal military,” the White House said in the preview.

Gotta have that shiny hardware for Trump’s parades. Also in line for some Trump budget cash: border security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s ability to detain and imprison immigrants. And while Trump is finally at least talking about spending some money on the opioid crisis, he’s looking at a law enforcement approach much more than treatment and recovery.

But when you cut through the rhetoric against immigrants and in favor of hundreds of millions of dollars for unmanned tankers and against Medicaid and food stamps, remember this: all the talk of “hard choices” hinges on Republicans already having made the choice to give corporations and rich people a huge, deficit-exploding tax cut.