On Monday, the Trump administration released full details of its 2020 budget request, the general outlines of which were released last week. The initial release called for cuts to nearly every federal agency, with deep cuts to the State Department, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and others. Only the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs would receive substantial increases.
With this week’s release, the administration provided a fuller picture of its anti-government, pro-military vision for the U.S. The long list of cuts targets programs for the poor, middle-income Americans, the environment and peacekeeping.
Cuts Target the Poor, People of Color and Students
Perhaps more than any other group, this budget would hurt poor Americans, particularly people of color.
Among anti-poverty programs under threat, the budget would make it harder for kids to qualify for free school lunch, institute new work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, and replace some SNAP benefits with paternalistic “harvest food” boxes that reduce food choice for recipients (and which, contrary to the branding, would consist of foods such as shelf-stable milk and canned fruit). It further decimates the already weakened Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, commonly known as welfare, by reducing its budget, limiting eligibility, and making work requirements more central by limiting states’ flexibility in how to use funds.
Services for poor people face elimination and cuts, too: Before- and after-school care provided through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program; low-income heating and cooling assistance; and the Legal Services Corporation, more commonly known by its Legal Aid…