President Trump raises his glass at a Friends of Ireland luncheon

Donald Trump’s Budget Proposal Has No Room For The Hungry [Opinion]

President Trump unveiled his new budget proposal this last Thursday, a new system of tax and spending plans that are scheduled for the next fiscal year, as reported by the BBC. Whereas Homeland Security and Defense will experience a healthy bump in spending, more progressive programs pertaining to art, housing, human services, and even the Environmental Protection Agency will take serious cuts to their funding. Mick Mulvaney, White House Budget Director, was quoted at a press conference, saying that “we can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good.”

Donald Trump’s budget proposal isn’t just limited to the EPA, though. As reported by the BBC, Trump’s budget will also levy a 14 percent spending cut on education. As further explored by the Atlantic, the $9.2 billion retraction of funding would include cuts to teacher and faculty training, and end many after-school and summer programs for children. Trump’s budget proposal would even eliminate up to twenty school departments, leaving students with limited educational programs to explore.

Donald Trump’s budget cuts to school departments and educational programs are a bit of an anomaly, as students in the U.S. are ranked “in the middle of the pack” and “lag behind many other advanced industrial nations,” per the Pew Research Center. The latest round of international testing, conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015, ranked the U.S. 38 out of 71 participating countries in mathematics. American students placed only 24 of 71 in science- more than a quarter of assessed nations ranked higher than the U.S. in core study programs.

Low income and special needs students aren’t the only groups facing the chopping block under Trump’s new budget proposal, though. President Trump’s pending budget proposal includes a $3 billion dollar cut from the Community Development Block Grant program, as reported by Business Insider. The Community Development Block Grant is an anti-poverty program that has provided food and housing assistance for over forty years. Meals on Wheels is one of many programs that operates on these grants, using the money to deliver food to the elderly and invalids who aren’t able to prepare or provide their own meals. Trump’s budget proposal could eliminate such services by the end of his presidency.

“As you know, or I think you know, that Meals on Wheels is not a federal program. It’s part of that community — the CDBG — the block grants that we give to the states. And then many states make the decision to use that money on Meals on Wheels.” – White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney

As reported by the Washington Post, the Block Grants aren’t the only avenue of funding for Meals on Wheels. Vice President of communications for Meals on Wheels, Jenny Bertolette, explained that “there’s no nationwide breakdown of how these block grants are allocated within each state. Some programs will be hit hard and some might not be affected. It really depends on the state.” Some programs could remain unscathed, while others who rely on the Block Grants could completely dry up under Trump’s new budget proposal. Bertolette cited a program in Michigan that was facing a potential 30 percent cut in funding- enough to prevent them from providing future services.

The cuts to education spell out long-term disaster- something that will manifest itself in the future, in later generations, when U.S. students are ranked even lower than they are now. The budget cuts placed on state funding, agriculture, and human services will be more immediately felt than those placed on the school systems. According to an article from CNN, President Trump’s budget proposal will cut funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, as well as emergency food assistance programs, which includes food banks. It seems Trump’s priority is rooted in defense and security departments, and not assisting those in need, as he’s gifted additional powers to the CIA, per an earlier article by the Inquisitr.

Donald Trump’s budget proposal is still only a blueprint, and will likely be overhauled a time or two before being implemented. Hopefully the backlash coming from citizens all over the world against Donald Trump’s budget proposal encourage him to further examine his priorities and offer a helping hand, as opposed to a shaking fist.

[Featured Image by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]