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Three lowlights from the Trump budget

Blog post
February 13, 2018By Juan Carlos Ordóñez

Though not surprising, it’s nevertheless disturbing.

The budget released yesterday by the Trump administration confirms one of the main grievances with the tax plan that the President and congressional GOP rushed into law late last year. Critics, like the Oregon Center for Public Policy, predicted that the trillion-dollar plus deficits created by the massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich would serve to justify cuts to services that help middle- and low-income Americans.

Sure enough, the President’s budget follows that script. There is much that is objectionable about the President’s budget, including unrealistic economic growth projections that seek to paper over the exploding deficits. Here are just three harsh, proposed cuts that would inflict serious harm on Oregonians:

1. Can’t afford health care? Tough luck.

The main reason why more Oregonians and Americans can now see a doctor when they need to is due to the expansion of Medicaid (the Oregon Health Plan) under Obamacare. It’s clear that there is strong support for Medicaid, evident in Oregon’s overwhelming “yes” vote on Measure 101 last month and Maine voters’ expansion of Medicaid at the ballot box in November.

The Trump budget takes aim at Medicaid. It proposes to repeal the Medicaid expansion, which would result in hundreds of thousands of Oregonians losing their health care coverage. Worse, the Trump budget would change the funding structure of Medicaid, resulting in many seniors, people with disabilities, and families losing health care.

2. The Hunger Games, for real.

For Oregonians struggling to put food on the table, the Trump budget would make their lives even tougher. It proposes slashing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $213 billion over ten years, causing at least 4 million people across the country to lose food assistance. Some 650,000 Oregonians rely on SNAP.

Should the Trump budget become a reality, “hunger would inevitably follow,” says Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

3. The housing crisis gets worse.

Communities all across Oregon are facing a deep crisis when it comes to the availability of affordable housing, and the Trump budget would make matters worse. It would cut $8.8 billion over 10 years in federal funds for rental assistance and other housing programs. (In 2019 alone, Oregon would lose at least $59 million in funds for housing.) The Trump budget would also cut billions in utility assistance, which helps low-income families keep warm in the winter.

Health, food, and shelter — the Trump budget takes aim where it really hurts. And these are only some examples of the much larger damage that the Trump budget would wreak.