Newspolitics

What The Federal Budget Propositions Mean To America’s Safety Net

The administrative decisions of the US president that have turned up in the recent past seem quite unusual and odd oftentimes, raising eyebrows of critics and people alike. Recently, during the announcement of the federal budget, there have been some propositions that seem to be a huge blow to the lower economic side of the American population.

trump-budget-proposals

The replacement of food aid with food stamps, the overhauling of the social safety membrane involving public health insurance and federal housing vouchers are creating a stir among the lower income earning people.

The revamped food aid

The administration wants to slash the food aid and replace it with a supply of boxed canned goods. This proposition is supposed to replace hard cash with the food itself, thereby reducing the overall expenditure.

According to the budget director,

It lowers the cost to us because we can buy [at wholesale prices] whereas they have to buy it at retail. It also makes sure they’re getting nutritious food. So we’re pretty excited about that.

food-package-store

Formally christened as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, it is aimed at cutting the costs by $17 billion in 2019 and almost by $213 billion by 2029.

There is a mild surprise on this change as the effective benefits in monetary terms is reduced by almost half in addition to leaving not much choice to the people. One of the positive aspects is that it enables the population having access to healthy and nutritious food so that the families can be well fed.

Some of the analysts are skeptical as to how the boxes would be delivered and the kind of food an elderly family with any health issues as compared to an average family. The clarifications might bring out some relief in the air.

Healthcare cuts

The well-known healthcare program, Medicaid is a major dependency factor for about 70 million Americans, also this program is known to have financed half of all the births in the country.

healthcare

Another healthcare program for the elderly, Medicare had about 43 million people under its net in the last year. These programs are important for the poor and the elderly of the nation who are allowed to pay for basic services alone.

The estimated slash on the programs is accounted for over $250 billion dollars over the next ten years. The major changes have not been announced yet, but it is speculated that the changes would have a big burden on the states to pay for the healthcare costs.

Federal housing subsidies

The budget proposal calls for work requirements of those receiving housing subsidies and reduces the funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development by $8.8 billion. The work requirements stipulate that able-bodied individuals have to work and increase their earnings as well as incentives.

The plan would eliminate a $2 billion fund for housing repairs, even though public housing is already in need of some $40 billion in repairs – heating and water outages, ventilation and water safety, etc.

suburban-houses

There is an opinion that these cuts would drastically affect a majority of Americans stretching from urban to rural localities.

Trump also put forward a proposal to cut Section 8 vouchers, a subsidy program, by nearly $1 billion, affecting more than 250,000 low-income families.

The reason for cuts

The administration is looking keen to increase funding for the military expenses as well as to contribute lowering the threatening fiscal deficit, a major cause of the concern for the government.

To understand why this is creating a sense of insecurity, there have been several instances where people relied heavily on this policies to make both ends meet. For example, a citizen falling under this low-income category expressed discontent as that person has been on the waitlist for several years in getting a subsidized house and now fears that this dream would never come to fruition.

This aura of uncertainty and fear is worrying several families in the country and perhaps a detailed disclosure with necessary alternatives would lighten up the atmosphere a little bit.

Source: REUTERS

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