WASHINGTON, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund responded to President Trump's first budget proposal with the following statement:
Our nation's budget should reflect our nation's values, but President Trump's 2018 Federal Budget, "A New Foundation for America's Greatness" radically does the opposite. This immoral budget shreds America's safety net for those drowning in a sea of poverty, hunger, sickness and suffering with disabilities. It slashes trillions of dollars from health care, nutrition and other critical programs that give poor babies and children a strong foundation in life to assure trillions of dollars in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and corporations. This cruel and inhumane budget invests in the military but denies youth the income, health care, food, housing, and education they need to become strong soldiers to defend our country. It builds a wall to keep others out by slashing supports for those inside who will be counted on to help staff our businesses and factories. This budget creates more inequality, less opportunity and is an affront to what it means to be an American.
It rips $627 billion over ten years from Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which together serve nearly 46 million children in low income families and children with disabilities, despite the President's campaign promise not to cut Medicaid. This is on top of cuts included in the House-passed American Health Care Act, which repealed the Affordable Care Act and dramatically altered Medicaid as we know it. Almost half of all Medicaid recipients are children. Medicaid pays for nearly half of all births in the United States and ensures coverage for 40 percent of children with special health care needs.
It slashes $192 billion over ten years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which feeds nearly 46 million struggling people, almost 20 million of them children. SNAP helped keep 2.1 million children out of poverty in FY2012. For nearly 5 million households with no income except SNAP these cuts would be catastrophic.
The Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) for more than 8 million children and adults with the severest disabilities faces deep cuts as does the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Hundreds of thousands of low income households would lose housing vouchers and there are deep cuts proposed in programs to prevent homelessness and assist homeless families.
The Trump Budget starves critical programs for children of all ages. For example, funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, for our youngest children during years of greatest brain development, means more than 200,000 children could lose child care subsidies in 2018 as quality improvements are being put in place. The proposed elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program means more than 1.1 million school children would lose critical summer and after school learning opportunities. And the proposed $143 billion reduction in student loans would jeopardize the futures of young people struggling to afford college and begin work.
This draconian budget slashing more than $3 trillion dollars over the next decade erodes the foundation for our nation's future. If we cannot take care of our children and America's vulnerable people, we cannot take care of much. The truth about this purportedly balanced budget based on magically creating three percent economic growth each year is just another Trumpian "alternative" fact.
The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
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SOURCE Children's Defense Fund