These Cuts Hurt
Congress just passed a budget that calls for massive cuts in human needs programs. The devastating effect these cuts would have on millions of Americans is why CHN is cosponsoring the #TheseCutsHurt social media day of action today, Monday, October 30. Members of Witnesses to Hunger and supporters across the country will be will be speaking out to raise awareness about how proposed budget cuts will hurt their families, communities, and this country.
You can join in as people across the country share posts, pictures, stories, videos, and statistics on social media and tell legislators how #TheseCutsHurt you and your community. The social media day of action will run all day with a different topic each hour, including hunger, housing, health, and education.
Thanks to sustained economic gains and strong federal and state programs, nationwide poverty rates have fallen over the last several years and have finally returned to levels comparable with those before the Great Recession. This is one of the findings of a report, Poverty and Progress, CHN released last week. But as the report also notes, cutting successful anti-poverty programs like Medicaid, SNAP/food stamps, housing assistance, and low-income tax credits would harm individuals and families and would turn back the progress we’ve made in reducing poverty. Some in Congress, however, seem determined to cut these programs regardless of how many millions of Americans would suffer.
Take, for example, the Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution approved by Congress last week. It would cut Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and other health programs by $1.3 trillion over a ten-year period. Medicare would be cut by $473 billion. Programs in the “income security” category (which includes SNAP/food stamps, Supplemental Security Income for poor seniors and people with disabilities, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, unemployment insurance and low-income tax credits) would drop by $653 billion. The budget resolution also calls for $800 billion in cuts to domestic appropriations, threatening further cuts to housing, education, child care, and substance abuse treatment.
Here’s another example: House leadership is expected to release a tax cut plan this week that will fast-track massive tax cuts for the rich and for corporations. While we don’t know yet exactly what will be in the plan, a tax cut framework devised by House and Senate leaders and the Trump administration released in September would give 80 percent of the plan’s tax cuts to taxpayers in the top 1 percent in 2027. All told, the framework would lead to revenue losses of $2.4 trillion over 10 years, taking away money that could instead be invested in improving the lives of low- and middle-income Americans. The loss of this revenue will inevitably hurt low- and middle-income Americans, both because services they need are slated for cuts at the outset, and because a ballooning debt will eventually increase pressure to cut programs people rely on.
And yet another example: Spending bills passed by the House in July and September for Fiscal Year 2018 would also continue and worsen years of cuts, including slashing or eliminating multiple education and employment programs, low-income housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and other programs vital to low-income communities.
To learn more about the #TheseCutsHurt Day of Action, visit the Witnesses to Hunger blog. To read our new report, Poverty and Progress: Poverty is Down in the U.S., but New Threats Ahead, click here, and use our social media toolkit and infographics to share the report widely. Then check out our related state reports and toolkits as well.