Tag: Social safety net

Trump’s budget balloons deficits, cuts social safety net
Social Security Disability

Trump’s budget balloons deficits, cuts social safety net

The president’s spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not “pay for itself” as Trump and his Republican allies asserted.
If enacted as proposed, though no presidential budget ever is, the plan would establish an era of $1 trillion-plus yearly deficits.
That deal, which includes large increases for domestic programs, rendered Monday’s Trump plan for 10-year, $1.7 trillion cuts to domestic agencies such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development even more unrealistic.
The White House used Monday’s event to promote its long-awaited plan to increase funding for infrastructure.
Trump also is proposing work requirements for several federal programs, including housing subsidies, food stamps and Medicaid. “The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations,” said Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
And that’s assuming Trump’s rosy economic predictions come true and Congress follows through — in an election year — with politically toxic cuts to social programs, farm subsidies and Medicare providers.
Last year Trump’s budget promised such ideas could generate a small budget surplus by 2027; now, his best-case scenario is for a $450 billion deficit that year, more than $300 billion of which can be traced to his December tax cut. “Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt,” Mnuchin declared in September.
They went nowhere last year.

LETTER: Don’t allow cuts to safety net programs

LETTER: Don’t allow cuts to safety net programs

Thanks to the Asbury Park Press and reporter Amanda Oglesby for highlighting hunger and the need for food assistance in Monmouth and Ocean counties, especially among elderly and disabled residents and children.
(“Feeding your neighbors: Jersey Shore food pantries see growing need,” Dec. 15).
As the story notes, food banks and pantries simply cannot meet the growing need for food.
That’s why the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) is critical to fight hunger in these counties and across the state.
Yet, as we celebrate the holiday season, Congress is moving to approve a deficit-escalating tax plan that will almost certainly lead to cuts to SNAP and other essential safety net assistance.
This will hurt the roughly 69,000 Ocean and Monmouth households that rely on SNAP to put food on their tables.
Ocean and Monmouth are covered by four congressional districts where nearly 229,000 people face hunger, according to #SNAPFeedsNJ fact sheets the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition released this fall.
SNAP is one of the most cost-effective ways to fight both hunger and poverty.
We urge Congressmen Chris Smith, Frank LoBiondo, Tom MacArthur and Frank Pallone, who represent Monmouth and Ocean counties, to oppose harmful cuts to food assistance that will leave tens of thousands of their constituents without enough to eat.
Adele LaTourettte Director, New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition

Trump’s Social Program Cuts Are Designed to Put ‘Taxpayers First,’ Budget Chief Says

Trump’s Social Program Cuts Are Designed to Put ‘Taxpayers First,’ Budget Chief Says

Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee that he went “line by line” through the federal budget and asked “Can we justify this to the folks who are actually paying for it?”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are also testifying before House panels.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told Mulvaney that cuts to food stamps, payments to the disabled, and other programs are “astonishing and frankly immoral.”
It foresees an overhaul of the tax code, which analysts say could direct most of its benefits to upper-income earners.
Mulvaney also told the panel that “it’ll be very difficult” to balance the budget in future proposal without cutting back the growth of Medicare and Social Security — the big retirement programs that Trump left alone in this year’s effort.
The plan, Trump’s first as president, combines $4.1 trillion for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to bring the budget back into balance in 10 years, relying on aggressive spending cuts, a surge in economic growth — and a $2 trillion-plus accounting gimmick. “If it’s important enough for us to have then we should be paying for it, because right now my unborn grandchildren are going to be paying for it,” Mulvaney said.
It would also force some people on Social Security’s disability program back into the workforce.
Other cuts in Trump’s budget include $63 billion in cuts to pension benefits for federal workers by eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for most workers and requiring employees to make higher contributions.
Some $200 billion in federal infrastructure investments are promised to leverage another $800 billion in private investment, though the idea has yet to get much traction.

Trump’s budget, with substantial and symbolic cuts, could be politically tricky for Republicans

Trump’s budget, with substantial and symbolic cuts, could be politically tricky for Republicans

Trump’s budget, with substantial and symbolic cuts, could be politically tricky for Republicans.
These proposed cuts, including defunding Planned Parenthood, ending the National Endowment for the Arts and winding down funding on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, are political landmines for many Republicans in Congress.
And Trump’s budget goes further.
Trump’s 2018 budget also would decrease foreign aid spending, slash money going to food stamps and cut billions from welfare.
All of these programs directly impact Democrats and Republicans alike, enjoy support from both sides of the aisle and some were panned by Republicans when Trump proposed them earlier this year.
Trump also proposed slashing foreign aid significantly when he first rolled out his budget proposals in February.
Foreign aid makes up roughly 1% of the federal budget and includes a host of programs meant to help implement national security policy. “There is two sides to fighting the problem that we’re in: There is military and then there’s diplomatic,” he said.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget chief and a former conservative member of Congress, said the cuts need to be made because the President can no longer take money from a tax paying family to subsidize programs that, in his view, don’t work. “We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,”Mulvaney told reporters Monday.

Trump is picking the wrong battle on health care

Trump is picking the wrong battle on health care

Not only are there over 70 million Americans who depend on the health care benefits that Medicaid provides, but state and local governments as well as health care providers (hospitals, insurance companies, physicians) all depend on this steady revenue flow into our troubled medical system.
This is the reason that so many Senate and even House Republicans trembled when the Freedom Caucus worked with the administration to place draconian Medicaid cuts into the health care bill.
Taking benefits away from Americans is as difficult politically as creating new social programs.
These proposed cuts are very real.
Lower-income Americans would lose access to vital health care benefits that come from Medicaid.
Children from these communities would see their access to health care curtailed with cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a Medicaid program.
And state governments would struggle as federal funds from Medicaid dry up.
If President Trump was serious about being a populist who stood up for struggling Americans, this budget indicates otherwise.
With this budget, Democrats gain a very clear understanding of what’s at stake if Republicans retain control of Congress and President Trump goes on to finish his term.
The problem for President Trump is that this budget, coming when it does in this presidency, might end up being more a part of his undoing than his triumphant political success.

Trump Republicans Want to ‘Make America Last’
Social Security Disability

Trump Republicans Want to ‘Make America Last’

Trump Republicans Want to ‘Make America Last’.
President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord on climate change is symbolic in more ways than one.
He really wants to Make America Last in the developed nations in caring for not only our environment, but economic growth as well.
Why leave the Paris Accord, when it is a voluntary accord to reduce carbon emissions?
And the Koch Brothers $millions that were spent to elect Tea Party candidates is paying off as Trump initiated an immediate review of President Obama/s Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
Surrounded by coal miners, the president described that plan as a “crushing attack” on workers and vowed to nix “job-killing regulations.
It is totally voluntary, with all but 3 countries now on board, except the US, Nicaragua, and Syria.
America will also be last in health care if Republicans succeed in repealing Obamacare, because Repubs want to slash spending on Medicaid and social security disability coverage, needed predominately by the poorer states that supported Trump.
So their own wealthy supporters gain even more wealth, and Trump’s supporters—most of whom reside in the poorest states—will continue to suffer most from his sleight of hand.
Harlan Green © 2017

Trump admins defends sweeping budget cuts to social, environmental programs

Trump admins defends sweeping budget cuts to social, environmental programs

“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but the number of people we help get off of those programs,” he said, arguing that it is actually compassionate to cut government spending on inefficient programs.
With its proposed substantial cuts to anti-poverty and social safety net programs, the budget plan offers Americans a substantially different view on government as the President tries to make good on promises he made during the 2016 campaign. “Everything that we do in this administration, every single time I am called into the Oval Office … the focus is sustained 3% economic growth,” he said, arguing that the administration “reject(s) that pessimism” that says the economy can’t grow that much each year.
Republicans have already signaled, seemingly in a way to cut off focus on Trump’s budget, that the document will undoubtedly be changed. “Throughout my time in the Senate, I have never seen a President’s budget make it through Congress unchanged.”
Mulvaney announced Tuesday that the document also funds initial plans for Trump’s long-promised border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Trump also slashes Social Security Disability Insurance, a core program to help people who are physically unable to work, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, a key welfare program.
Among those key promises was to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, and Trump’s proposed budget attempts to do just that by slashing the agency’s budget by 31% in 2018 to $5.65 billion.
The budget chief argued that President Barack Obama’s administration spent too much on climate change programs and that the 2018 proposed cuts are an attempt to get back to normalcy. “The pendulum went too far to one side, where we were spending too much of your money on climate change and not really efficiently,” Mulvaney said said.

Trump’s Budget Takes Aim at My Sweet Son

Trump’s Budget Takes Aim at My Sweet Son

President Trump’s budget is here, and it contains serious cuts to the social safety net.
Children with special health care needs rely on the program for services not typically covered by private health insurance, which helps them stay at home with their families.
He had three different evaluations around the age of 2, to confirm the autism diagnosis I first suspected when he was 15 months old.
She said it wouldn’t work — and that I needed both those arms anyway, to care for him.
When he was 4 and attending a preschool for children with special needs, a lovely social worker was assigned to help us.
In our first meeting, she encouraged me to apply for a Medicaid waiver, designed to help “medically needy” families, regardless of income, care for children who otherwise would need the type of services provided in a long-term care facility.
The social worker kept following up on the Medicaid waiver throughout the year.
I was determined that he would make so much progress that we wouldn’t need the waiver.
His father and I have been near our breaking point more times than I care to admit.
Mr. Trump’s budget cuts, part of the continuing war on Medicaid, will likely mean cuts to the waiver program, adding to the burden for families like mine.

Experts dispute Trump’s argument that too many people are on food stamps

Experts dispute Trump’s argument that too many people are on food stamps

That’s the question White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney posed when defending the administration’s proposed 25% cut to the program.
The thrust of Mulvaney’s argument was that, eight years after the height of the Great Recession, food stamp rolls haven’t fallen back to pre-recession levels.
Mulvaney sees that as evidence many Americans are getting food assistance when they should be working.
Trump also wants to change some benefit levels and limit the ability of states to waive work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents.
Under Trump’s proposal, less than 2% would, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates.
“If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work,” Mulvaney said.
Among participating households with children and a non-elderly, non-disabled adult, about 60% have income.
One reason participation rates have risen among the working poor is the program was reoriented to make it less time consuming for them to apply, said Dean of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Up to 30% of Americans have jobs with pay that would barely lift their family above the poverty line even if they were working full time, according to the group.
The University of Illinois’ Gundersen said the program doesn’t discourage work because benefits decline at a slower rather than other means-tested benefits as incomes rise.

Mick Mulvaney defends Trump budget’s social safety net cuts
Social Security Disability

Mick Mulvaney defends Trump budget’s social safety net cuts

Author: AP / Source: USA TODAY (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo, European Pressphoto Agency) WASHINGTON (AP) — White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers on Wednesday that President Trump’s plans to slash social programs are designed to increase economic growth to 3% and put “taxpayers first.” Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee […]