March 22, 2017 under Policy, Advocacy & Research
“Many other Government agencies and departments will also experience cuts. These cuts are sensible and rational. Every agency and department will be driven to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending in carrying out their honorable service to the American people” states Donald Trump in his administration’s $1.1 trillion America’s First Budget: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.
However, what President Trump leaves out is that real Americans will suffer from the cuts proposed in this budget.
President Trump’s proposed budget will go through negotiations with many iterations before a final budget is approved and passed by Congress. But, as we all should expect, this proposal does not come as a surprise for it mirrors his campaign promises and his repeated assertions to make America safer and stronger, drain the swamp, and reduce excessive government spending and waste. It is indeed, like all elected officials’ budgets, a values or moral statement about what they believe is most important, and what they feel is least important and can be sacrificed for what they desire.
To be clear, the proposed budget released is not a final budget, but rather a fiscal plan that applies to discretionary spending. At present, mandatory spending, or entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP are not included in this plan.
The majority of Trump’s proposed budget is focused on defense spending. $54 billion is set aside to increase the Department of Defense and Homeland Security funding by 10 percent. It is also revenue and cost-neutral, with proposed cuts for programs that serve poor and vulnerable populations being made to cover the increase in defense spending. Several agencies and programs will see their budgets significantly reduced or completely defunded if Trump’s proposal goes forward as is, including:
The Department of Education
21st Century Community Learning Centers program: cuts to before and after-school programs and summer programs
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
The Department of Labor:
Independent Agencies and Programs:
Under this proposed budget, New Yorkers do not bode well. This loss of federal aid will adversely affect New York City schools by $140 million, 700,000 LIHEAP recipients, and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) which serves 400,000 low income New York City resident.
FPWA is committed to antipoverty causes with the goal of removing economic and social barriers that stand in the way of upward mobility and economic prosperity. This budget not only stands in the way of these goals, but is also morally corrupt and betrays the value of the American citizenry to support our neighbors.
FPWA vehemently opposes this budget, and is pushing for a fiscal plan that will continue to invest in programs and policies that benefit underserved populations.
Jennifer Jones Austin is the CEO and Executive Director at FPWA and is co-host of a segment about poverty and national policy for the nationally syndicated radio show, Keepin’ It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton, which airs Thursdays at 2:00 pm ET.