Louise Line: The Trump Budget
The president’s budget request for the fiscal 2018 year is two things: heartless and harmful.
This budget shows that the president’s administration, despite promises to the contrary, is not working for all Americans but rather for their rich allies and wealthy corporations. It hollows out the investments necessary to build a strong, competitive economy and undermines basic living standards all while creating a false tradeoff between national defense spending and everything else. Here’s a topline look at these devastating cuts:
This proposal steals billions from job-creating investments in infrastructure by eviscerating funding for the Highway Trust and eliminating the TIGER grant program, which was a critical resource in making the new Rochester intermodal train station and Inner Loop redevelopment projects a reality and which helped provide countless jobs across our county.
But that’s not all. The president’s proposal also builds on House Republicans’ gutting of Medicaid by slashing an additional $610 billion from this program, disproportionally affecting seniors in nursing homes, children with disabilities, and low-income families. Cash-strapped states would be forced to move quickly to reduce their services or even drop people from coverage altogether.
The litany continues with a cut of $272 billion over 10 years from programs that safeguard basic living standards for working families trying to get ahead. This includes a more than one-hundred billion dollar cut to food stamps and school lunch programs and the imposition of unnecessary eligibility requirements that would prevent many from getting help.
The president’s proposal also hurts our students. Under the Trump proposal, student loans, financial aid, and repayment programs would be cut by $143 billion over the next 10 years. This would raise students’ costs to attend college and severely affect their ability to work toward a degree.
The president’s budget also starts the clock on the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities regardless of the fact that they make up less than 0.008 percent of the federal budget and provide critical programming in every Congressional district. The National Institutes of Health would be cut by nearly $6 billion, crippling the important research these institutes do in developing life-saving cures and treatments and threatening more than 3,000 local jobs right here at home.
No sector of society is spared under the Trump budget. Health care, arts, education, infrastructure, food assistance, and much, much more are on the chopping block. This budget can be added to the president’s long list of broken promises to the American people. I am outraged by his proposal and will work every day to make sure it never becomes a reality.
Louise M. Slaughter