Why does it seem like this current administration is completely funding its huge tax breaks on the backs of the poor? Maybe because of all the efforts to reduce the social safety net. Here are some examples:
- The administration is considering changing the way the government measures poverty which could result in millions of low-income individuals and families being removed from assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and Head Start. The current poverty line for a family of four is about $26,000. Each year, the government adjusts for inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI). The administration is considering using a version called“chained CPI” which is lower than regular CPI. Chained CPI assumes that as prices of goods go up, people substitute less expensive items lowering their overall expenses. Most poor are already using the cheapest good/services they can use.
- The administration has proposed increasing work requirements or eliminating/reducing state waivers for safety net programs such as SNAP and Medicare/Medicaid.
- The administration is pushing a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. This question is likely to reduce the number of immigrant – documented or undocumented – responses which will reduce the official number of individuals in that city or state. Since government funds are allocated based on the census numbers, cities with large immigrant populations will receive less funding than they need.
- This administration has made dismantling the Affordable Care Act a hallmark of it tenure. These actions have eliminated or reduced the healthcare available to many working poor who are not eligible for Medicaid.
- The current trade war with China is certainly impacting farmers and manufacturers who sell to or buy materials from China. The next phase will be putting tariffs (taxes) on consumer goods such as clothing, furniture, etc. These price increases will result in the poor using a larger percentage of wages going for these products.
- Individuals with disabilities who are often likely to have low incomes will be impacted by the proposed budget that slashes funding of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by $72 billion. This is only one example of budget cuts that will impact low income families/individuals.
These are only some of the many efforts that are being proposed/implemented to make up the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that were implemented last year. Perhaps instead of catering to the rich, the administration should consider Proverbs 14:31: Those who oppress the poor revile their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor God.