Falling Further Behind: American Families Forgotten by the President’s 2018 Budget
Claim: "The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."
President Donald J. Trump – January 20, 2017
Fact: President Trump’s budget for 2018 leaves behind the people he promised never to forget. From rural America, to coal country, to cities large and small, the President’s budget makes it impossible for struggling families to get ahead and stay ahead.
Undermines foundations for economic success — Millions of American families face serious economic challenges, such as poverty-level wages, not enough jobs available in their communities, and/or family caregiving responsibilities that make full-time employment impossible. To have any hope for a better life, families struggling to get by utilize government programs that help them meet basic standards of living. These services provide a stable foundation that is critical for families to have an opportunity to achieve success and reach the American dream. The President’s budget, however, cuts access to these programs, including nutrition assistance, affordable housing, and tax benefits for low-wage workers. This makes it much harder for Americans to find and maintain the stable employment they need to prosper, thrive, and provide for their families.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The budget cuts $193 billion by imposing unnecessary eligibility requirements and requiring states to fund 25 percent of the benefit on average by 2023. States would be able to cut costs by reducing the already low benefits. This will mean more food hardship for families across the country.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – The budget cuts an already underfunded program by an additional 10 percent and eliminates funding used to respond to increased demand during economic downturns. This leaves millions of Americans on shaky ground, severely limiting their efforts to return to work.
- Affordable housing – At a time when the stock of affordable housing is in decline, the budget cuts nearly $2 billion for 2018 for rental assistance programs, cuts $1 billion by eliminating the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and eliminates funding for the Housing Trust Fund that supports state and local affordable housing investments.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – The budget eliminates this $3.4 billion program, putting millions of families at risk when extreme temperatures hit, both in the summer and in the winter.
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) – The budget cuts the EITC and CTC by a combined total of $40 billion. These programs together lift nearly 10 million people out of poverty, including 5 million children. The tax credits encourage work, boost incomes, and improve opportunities and outcomes for children. Yet the budget restricts the availability of these tax credits for working families, while it gives large tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires, and corporations.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – The budget cuts $72 billion from DI and SSI. This includes reductions in benefit levels, including $9.9 billion from reducing DI payments. Most of the cuts – $49 billion – reflect DI and SSI enrollment reductions through policies such as time limits and work requirements that will act as barriers to people with disabilities receiving the benefits they need.
- Health care – The budget mirrors the House Republican plan to take away affordable health coverage from millions of people. It goes a step further by making even deeper cuts to Medicaid – by one estimate, the budget cuts Medicaid by nearly half in 2027.
Ends education and job opportunities — Not only does the budget chip away at the stable foundation American families need to succeed, it also destroys investments that fuel American ingenuity and drive our economic engine. It cuts off access to higher education and job training opportunities, jeopardizing Americans’ ability to achieve economic success and secure a brighter future for their children.
- Higher education – The budget eliminates subsidized loans, fails to adjust Pell Grant awards for inflation, and cuts both grant aid and work study. But the budget does not stop there. A nearly $8 billion overall cut to Department of Education discretionary programs for 2018 means cuts to programs that increase college access, such as TRIO and GEAR UP.
- Job training – The budget cuts funding to critical Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs by 39 percent, which could immediately lead to more than half a million Americans losing access to services that help people locate, train for, and excel at new work opportunities.
The President promised to never forget hardworking Americans across the country. However, his budget betrays that core promise by ripping away programs that provide families a stable foundation for success and eliminating routes to new and better economic opportunities.