53 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty. Today it seems like our government is waging war against the poor. Most of the talk coming from the Republican controlled Congress and the Executive Branch has been about drastically cutting programs that help feed, house and provide medical care for low income Americans.
The reporting out of Washington D.C. on the potential federal budget that will be presented will have dire consequences for low income Americans. Why are these cuts supposedly necessary? So the wealthy can be given more tax breaks.
The campaign promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act has started with the President dismantling as much of the program through Executive Order as possible. If we lose the Affordable Care Act 2.7 million New Yorkers will once again be without health coverage.
When Representative Paul Ryan uses terms like “opportunity grants” we must not be lulled into believing that he is truly offering opportunity. What he is proposing is the block granting of most of the needs based programs so that the federal government gives less money to states to operate and allows states much greater leeway in how to administer the programs. If programs are block granted they will have a specific amount of funding that does not increase to meet additional need should we experience a downturn in the economy. This would result in a waiting list for services such as SNAP (food stamps), school meals, SSI and Medicaid.
It is being reported that the upcoming budget to be presented by President Trump would have devastating effects on tens of millions of low income families and middle class families as well. State and local governments would also see deep cuts that would force property taxes to soar. Cuts to health care, SNAP (food stamps) child nutrition, education, highways, mass transit, rental subsidies, clean water and more are all at stake. These cuts would come alongside deep tax cuts that favor the most-well-off. Once again, the substantial shifting of income from people of modest means will benefit the top 1% wealthiest Americans.
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