Charted: Trump’s 2019 fantasy budget brings back government cheese and the rhythm method

A boy carries free US government cheese in Pennsylvania in 1982.
A boy carries free US government cheese in Pennsylvania in 1982.
Image: AP Photo
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Donald Trump unveiled the White House’s radical 2019 budget proposal today, pledging to end “wasteful spending” and—surprise!—build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Much like Trump’s proposal last year, the budget takes aim at health and social programs. It also proposes deep cuts into agencies like the Department of Labor and the State Department.

The budget makes a number of unusual recommendations, including substituting USDA products for some food assistance credits, a move that harkens back to the Ronald Reagan-era distribution of government cheese.

It eliminates after-school programs and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, while slashing funding for Amtrak in the midst of a US railroad safety crisis.

The budget also includes an emphasis on “fertility awareness” (pg. 82), a birth control method also known as the “Rhythm Method” or “calendar method,” in which a woman abstains from sex at the most fertile time of her cycle. The method is considered one of the least effective methods of birth control, with as many as 24 out of 100 couples that use it becoming pregnant in one year, the Mayo Clinic says.

The 2019 budget also nearly doubles the federal deficit over the next decade to $7.1 trillion—but based on what happened last year, there’s little chance any of its proposals will become reality.