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Trump’s war on children

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN | 6/5/2017, 12:49 p.m.
Our nation’s budget should reflect our nation’s professed values, but President Trump’s 2018 Federal Budget, A New Foundation for America’s ...

Children’s Defense Fund

Our nation’s budget should reflect our nation’s professed values, but President Trump’s 2018 Federal Budget, A New Foundation for America’s Greatness, radically does the opposite. This immoral budget declares war on America’s children, our most vulnerable group, and the foundation of our nation’s current and future economic, military and leadership security. It cruelly dismantles and shreds America’s safety net laboriously woven over the past half century to help and give hope to the 14.5 million children struggling today in a sea of poverty, hunger, sickness, miseducation, homelessness and disabilities. It slashes trillions of dollars from health care, nutrition and other critical programs that give poor babies and children a decent foundation in life to assure trillions of dollars in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and powerful corporations who do not deserve massive doses of government support.

The cruel Trump budget invests more in our military – already the most costly in the world – but denies vulnerable children and youths the income, health care, food, housing and education supports they need to become strong future soldiers to defend our country. Seventy-one percent of our 17 to 24 year olds are now ineligible for military service because of health and education deficits. It seeks to build a wall to keep immigrants out by slashing supports for those inside who can be counted on to help staff our businesses and factories and other services. This budget creates more inequality and less opportunity for those struggling to make ends meet and is a grave injustice.

Trump invests in fighting those he sees as outside enemies through weapons and walls and turns his back on the internal enemies that threa10 the basic domestic needs of our people – health care, housing, education and jobs that pay living wages. Congress and the people of the United States must reject Trump’s budget and the mean-spirited values it reflects. It declares war on children and working people struggling to support their families by ignoring even their most basic needs and gives trillions to those who do not need massive government support – especially at a time of record wealth and income inequality.

The President’s 2018 Budget:

• Slashes $610 billion over 10 years from Medicaid, which nearly 37 million children rely on for a healthy start in life and which pays for nearly half of all births and ensures coverage for 40 percent of our children with special health care needs. The budget also assumes passage of the more than $800 billion additional cuts in Medicaid included in the American Health Care Act for a total Medicaid massacre of more than $1.4 trillion over 10 years.

• Rips $5.7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers nearly 9 million children in working families ineligible for Medicaid. The proposed cap on CHIP funding for families at 250 percent of the poverty level threa10s coverage for millions of children in the 24 states and the District of Columbia that have chosen to ex10d coverage to children in families with slightly higher incomes.