President Trump’s budget would slash nutrition, health care, and other important assistance that helps millions of Texans meet basic living standards – food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care – while giving new tax breaks to the wealthy and powerful. The budget stands in stark contrast to the commitments the President made during his campaign to help those left behind by today’s economy. It would also shift massive costs to Texas at a time when our state is not able to meet the need for education and other critical services Texans rely on.
“The President’s proposed budget is a punch in the stomach to hard-working Texans and their families, many of whom rely on health care and food assistance to make up for insufficient wages and minimal state investment in critical services,” said CPPP Executive Director Ann Beeson. “Slashing bedrock federal programs in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy should not be the Texas way.”
The President’s proposed budget would:
- Slash the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) by $193 billion over ten years targeting the elderly, working families and workers struggling to find a job — and shifting the cost of more than $100 billion of SNAP benefits, a long-time federal responsibility, to states. About 1.6 million households in Texas rely on SNAP to buy groceries. The 3.8 million Texans on SNAP include more than 2 million children and a quarter of a million elderly residents (age 65 or over). Nearly all adults in Texas SNAP are aged, have disabilities, or are parents with children.
- Cut an additional $610 billion from Medicaid over ten years — on top of the already-massive $839 billion in Medicaid and subsidies for private coverage included in the House-passed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that President Trump supports and incorporates into his budget. These additional cuts almost certainly would further increase the number of uninsured Texans and would shift additional, significant Medicaid costs to Texas on top of the $15 billion over 10 years cost shift in the House health bill.
- Cut disability programs by $72 billion, including Social Security Disability Insurance, for workers who acquire disabilities and their families, and Supplemental Security Income, which provides income assistance to poor individuals, including infants and children, with disabilities – breaking the President’s promise not to cut Social Security. More than 665,000 Texans receive SSI, and 617,000 receive SSDI disabled worker benefits.
- Deeply cut investments that expand opportunity and spur long-term economic growth, from job training to education to scientific research. The budget would cut funding for this part of the budget by $54 billion in 2018 alone. The proposed cuts grow far deeper over the decade – the President is proposing for this part of the budget to be cut by more than 40 percent as compared to 2017 after adjusting for inflation. These cuts would take funding for this part of the budget to its lowest level since the Hoover Administration as a share of the economy.
At the same time, the President is proposing massive tax cuts largely for the wealthy and corporations that would likely cost several trillion dollars over the coming decade, if honestly measured. The budget relies on unrealistic economic assumptions, gimmicks, and huge “magic asterisks” to hide that the President’s tax cuts would dramatically increase deficits and debt.
As Congress prepares to advance its own budget plans, the Texas delegation in Washington must not simply oppose the Trump budget. They must oppose any Congressional budget plan that follows the same architecture. They must oppose cuts to assistance that helps millions of Americans achieve a basic living standard. They must oppose cuts to investments in long-run economic growth and basic public services. And, they must oppose massive tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest.