Leaders in Baltimore are calling for the rejection of cuts in President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal that was sent to Congress May 23. Cuts that are too deep for members of the President’s own party, according to news reports.
The president is proposing to cut federal spending by more than $3.6 trillion over the next decade at the expense of programs that help low-income families; which includes a disproportionate number of African-Americans.
City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) said the proposed budget “is unnecessarily cruel and will endanger the health of Baltimore’s most at-risk residents.”
“The reality is that this budget represents an attempt to shred the social safety net by divesting from programs and services that save lives,” he said. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh declined comment on the proposed budget’s impact on the city through a spokesman.
NAACP Chairman Leon W. Russell said “[he’s] not sure what is more insidious; regurgitating the sham of old trickle-down theories of economics or purposely refusing to adequately fund civil rights positions necessary to protect individuals from voter suppression, job discrimination, or police brutality.”
Trump’s budget proposal would cut $800 billion from Medicaid, $200 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – referred to as food stamps – and $72 billion from disability benefits over the next 10 years.
Carmen Del Guercio, president and CEO of the Maryland Food Bank, called SNAP “a critical tool for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who are struggling to make ends meet.”
“Simply put, the Maryland Food Bank is not in a position to meet the increased demand for food assistance today, should the proposed cuts move forward,” Del Guercio said adding that the food bank is working at capacity.
The budget cuts proposed “will totally upset individuals, families and institutions from rural to urban America,” said the Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway Sr., senior pastor of Union Baptist Church in Baltimore.
“It’s unfortunate his business experience is being used as a justification for a hostile takeover of American’s social net, that’s defines the benevolence of our society,” Hathaway said.