President’s Budget Would Wreak Havoc on America’s Children
Today, the President released his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal, which flies in the face of last week’s Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA). The President’s budget violates the BBA’s crucial enactment of parity for non-defense and defense discretionary spending caps and makes draconian, nonsensical cuts to critical safety net programs. As a result, it exacerbates the trend of declining federal investment in our children, which reached an all-time low of just 7.75% of the total federal budget in 2017.
Rather than rectify this harmful pattern, the President’s budget creates a blueprint for an America that trivializes the needs of families and children.
With his $57 billion cut to the BBA’s $597 billion non-defense discretionary cap, the President abandons parity and ignores an obvious opportunity to reinvest in multiple children’s programs that have faced devastating cuts for years. In fact, this proposal shrinks and even eliminates key discretionary programs that benefit children. Reckless cuts of billions from K-12 education programs, not to mention the elimination of key child welfare funding streams via the Social Services and Community Services Block Grants and health supports like Emergency Medical Services for Children, represent just a few of the misplaced priorities shaping this budget request.
On the mandatory side of the ledger, the President has called for dramatic reductions in, and restructuring of, key safety net programs. The budget attacks everything from income support and housing assistance to affordable healthcare and nutrition, all but ensuring that our children will be poorer, without shelter, sicker, and hungrier.
It is no surprise that less than two months after passing a tax bill that exploded the federal deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years, the administration is at the same time attempting to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in mandatory programs that help struggling families get by.
The Administration’s claim that this budget represents a “clear commitment to a better future for all Americans,” does not reconcile with the havoc, if enacted, it would wreak on America’s children.