Trump budget hurts the working poor

The budget proposed by Donald Trump would have a major impact on the assistance programs that the working poor and many other hard-working Americans depend on, many of who voted for Trump. While it it very early in the process, and many things may change over the next several months, the bottom line is that many programs that are being used by Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck could be slashed.

Now what is threatened to be cut or eliminated in 2018 is not only those resources that maybe help build the “welfare” state and that unfortunate mindset that some people have, but there are also many assistance programs threatened that were created for everyday hard working, yet lower income families. Millions of people depend on them. In addition, those programs that target job creation, such as the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSCEP) as well as Minority Business Development Agency, are also threatened.

Now at the end of the day Congress is responsible for creating (and approving) a budget, so the proposal put forward by Trump for 2018 is only what he wants. It is more than likely to be revised….as happens almost every year. So while it is early in the process, we still think it is very eye opening as to what may potentially occur.

Another thing to consider is some of the proposed cuts could be partially offset by state, private company and/or other charitable contributions. For example, if Trump does get his way and cuts millions of dollars from Meals on Wheels (which helps feed seniors that are homebound), then those cutbacks could be offset by private grants. Or states or even utility company could provide their own financial aid to replace reductions in LIHEAP energy bill assistance. So other groups may step up in some way to help replace any reductions in federal aid.

Programs that could be cut by Trump

The list below is just a sampling. As noted this list of resources, funding levels, cutbacks, etc. should (and more than likely will) change before the final 2018 budget is approved by Congress. But this is currently at risk.

All of the funding to Legal Services Corporation could be eliminated. This is pro-bono legal aid that helps everyone from women or children fleeing domestic violence to the working poor who are facing foreclosure due to a late mortgage payment or a bank involved in predatory lending.

LIHEAP is used to pay heating and utility bills for almost 8 million households. Trump wants to end it. He also wants to end weatherization, which benefits hundreds of thousands of families per year and helps them save money on their heating bills.

While there may be some abuse in this LIHEAP low income energy bill assistance program (as in any government benefit), there are definitely cases in which working poor families have an unexpected hardship (such as cancer or a medical issue), and they need a little help to pay a heating bill for a short period of time.

Over 2 million homebound elderly get low cost (or free food) from Meals on Wheels. It is a volunteer driver service, the the 2018 Trump budget proposal wants to reduce the amount of support given to it.

Trump proposes to cut HUD housing programs by over 6 billion dollars. This helps pay for everything from section 8 HUD vouchers to assistance to help lower income families buy a home. With the ever increasing cost of rent being faced by many hard working families, a reduction in this income based program could lead to more homelessness.

The Department of Labor is facing billions of dollars in budget cuts. They run many of the job training programs. While there is too much overlap in these resources, and maybe some can be combined, Trump is proposing to cut Job Corp Centers, WIA office career centers, and more. Since many hard working people who voted for Trump lack the skills needed for today’s economy, cutbacks here will not help them gain self-sufficiency. In fact, 52% of people who backed Trump lacked a college degree!

The above list is just a small sampling. There are tens of billions of dollars proposed in other domestic programs. If anyone is concerned here, be sure to reach out to your local government officials to express your concerns. As personally we see no benefit to America in cutting job training, meal services for vulnerable seniors, and other resources.

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