From eliminating student loan forgiveness, cutting crucial after school programs and reducing funding for food stamps, President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 appears to be showing no mercy for low- and even middle-income Americans.
Trump’s recently released budget continues to get scrutiny from his harshest critics, who say his priorities aren’t in the right place. Major spending appears to be concentrated on national defense and law enforcement, whereas a lack of support for programs used by communities of color are appear to be taking major hits.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Cedric Richmond said the budget assumes that poor Americans can simply “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”
“A budget that threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans who, through no fault of their own, depend on social safety net and other federal programs, will not make America great again,” Richmond said. “This budget is immoral and irresponsible and confirms what then-candidate Trump showed us time and time again—he only cares about people who have bank accounts that look like his.”
The cuts include $190 billion over the next 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Several educational programs are also on the chopping block, including after-school and summer care and aid to low-income students.
There is also a proposed $1.2 billion cut from the 21st century Community Learning Center program and cuts of $732 million from the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
In the Department of Housing and Urban Development, grant programs for community development, investment partnerships, home-ownership, and Section 4 affordable housing will all be eliminated.
“This budget, and the justifications administration officials have given for it, is a mean-spirited and immoral attempt to demonize America’s poor,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, president and CEO of the Center for Global Policy Solutions. “To portray families in need as underserving is to betray America’s 20th century commitment to ensure a living standard beneath which no American citizen should fall and to invest in the success of all its citizens.”
Rep. Adriano Espaillat said the budget is expected because of Trump being out of touch with the poor and those struggling to reach the middle class in America.
“While significantly cutting the budgets for vital safety net programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that save millions of Americans from the deepest depths of poverty, and increasing the funding for defense spending, immigration raids, border patrol and building a divisive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump has essentially prioritized his own interests ahead of America’s poor and low-income families,” Espaillat said.