Ralph Nader Blasts Donald Trump’s Budget as Corporatist, Militarist, and Racist
During an interview with Democracy Now! on Friday, longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader didn’t hold back when asked about President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, which calls for an unprecedented $54 billion increase in military spending, while cutting environmental, housing, diplomatic, and educational programs.
“So much for Donald Trump’s campaign promises to the forgotten men and women of America. They’re the ones who are the big losers,” Nader told host Amy Goodman. “Overall, this is a budget that reflects corporatism, militarism, and racism.”
Nader added, “The mask is off. The fangs are out. He [Trump] is collaborating with what is, on the record, the most vicious, ignorant Republican Party in its history, since 1854.”
He dismissed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s “daily assurances” that the administration is rooting out government inefficiency and waste. Nader then cited the nearly $10 billion a year—since Ronald Regan was in office—that has been spent on the Pentagon’s ballistic missile defense project.
“It doesn’t work,” he said. “We’re talking about the intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Society of Physicists, which includes physicists who consult with the Pentagon, have said that it won’t work. It’s too easily decoyed by balloons.”
Nadar also insisted that the increased military budget is really just a corporate welfare program for Raytheon, Boeing, and other defense contractors.
As for the Republican’s vision for healthcare, the Congressional Budget Office concludes that the new budget will push 14 million people off health insurance this year, and 24 million by 2026. But for Nader, his biggest question is: what is the Democratic Party going to do?
“Are they going to field candidates in all 50 states who are viable?” he asked. “Are they going to spend their time dialing for corporate dollars? Or are they going to go the Bernie Sanders way, in small contributions in big volume?”
Nader also wondered if the Democrats are going to push for a single-payer healthcare system.
“There are 64 members of the House, Democrats, who have signed on to John Conyers’ single payer,” he said. “It’s HR 676, the gold standard. And they’re keeping quiet about it. They’re not pushing it, because Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are telling them, ‘Keep quiet about single payer,’ supported by 60 percent of the American people already according to a Pew poll.”
Ralph Nader ran for president as a third-party candidate in 1972, 1992, 1996, and 2000, respectively. His most recent book, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think, is out now.