In response to the draft federal budget released today by the Trump Administration, Equality California National Policy Director Valerie Ploumpis issued the following statement:
“The Trump Administration’s grotesquely-named ‘‘A New Foundation for American Greatness” budget is an all-out assault on the social bedrock of the health and wellbeing of middle and lower-income Americans, and a naked gift to the wealthiest.
Over the next ten years, this cruel budget would eviscerate the very programs that were put in place to support our nation’s most vulnerable. It would cut Medicaid by $1.4 trillion and $193 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — nearly 25 percent of its funding– to help millions of low-income families buy healthy food. It would cut $72 billion for programs that support people with disabilities. It would cut $9.2 billion in funding for public schools and reduce support for loans and grants that help make college affordable to low-income students. It would entirely eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which is the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans. It would dramatically cut HUD’s housing affordability programs.
It is obvious that Trump’s campaign promises and inaugural pledge that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer” were brazen lies.
People living with HIV and AIDS would be profoundly hit. The budget cuts funding for the Centers for Disease Control by $149 million, an appalling 19 percent reduction — at a time when prevention treatments are clearly beginning to make progress toward the goal of eliminating new infections. It would cut 17 percent of CDC funding to prevent STDs over two years. Funding for the National Institutes of Health, the driver of AIDS research, would be slashed by 20 percent. Trump’s budget would completely eliminate funding for two key pillars of Ryan White funding that aimed at assist hard to reach communities living with HIV and hepatitis (Education and Training Centers and the Special Projects of National Significance), as well as zero out funding for HHS’s Minority AIDS Initiative. It would cut $26 million for HUD’s Housing Opportunity for People with AIDS, a critical program that helps homeless people living with HIV.
Many pundits dismiss the Trump Administration’s first budget as “dead on arrival,” and laugh about the $2 trillion math error (a double-count of tax benefits) and near-fantasy economic assumptions about economic growth and corporate job creation. But this ugly and cruel draft budget shows America just what the Trump Administration is really about — a “reverse Robin Hood” that would rob the poor and bestow ever-more wealth to the rich.
Equality California calls on the U.S. Congress to reject this these proposed draconian cuts to the social fabric of our country and to start over to craft a real, bipartisan budget that provides for the needs of our country.”
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org