Trump Budget Harms Those He Promised to Help

President Trump’s new budget proposal would do severe damage to an array of investments that help many of the very people that President Trump has said would be his priority — people who have been left behind by today’s economy or live in distressed urban or rural communities.

That’s because the budget includes his proposal to deepen the already problematic sequestration cuts in non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs — the part of the budget that funds a range of domestic priorities — by $15 billion in fiscal year 2017 even though the year is nearly half over, and then by $54 billion in fiscal year 2018. The budget shifts all these funds to defense.

To do this, the budget cuts NDD programs outside of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security — the two departments outside the Pentagon that Trump’s budget would increase — by about 15 percent, on average, below current levels and by more than 30 percent below the 2010 level adjusted for inflation.

The cuts in programs for individuals and communities that the President has promised to help include:

- cuts to job training that helps workers upgrade their skills;

- cuts to Labor Department funding that likely would seriously weaken federal actions to ensure that factories and mines are safe, workers are paid what they have earned, and minimum-wage and other laws to protect workers are complied with;

- cuts to student aid and work-study programs that help low- and moderate-income students afford college;

- cuts to economic development funding for both cities and rural communities;

- cuts to housing assistance for hard-pressed families struggling to pay the rent;

- the elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps low-income households, including many poor seniors, pay for heat, especially in cold winter months.

This isn’t a budget that will make America great again. Instead, it’s a budget that will increase hardship and poverty, exacerbate the gulf between the wealthy and other Americans, slash funding for areas that represent investments in our workforce — with likely long-term adverse effects on the economy — and renege on various international responsibilities and commitments.

CBPP Statement: March 16, 2017


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