The Trump budget is hitting home for some of his supporters, and they’re starting to feel some buyer’s remorse when confronted with stark reality.
Among other things, the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 spending plan that President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released this week promises cuts to the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI). OMB Director Mick Mulvaney insisted that Trump — who promised on the campaign trail to not cut Social Security — wasn’t being disingenuous by proposing SSDI cuts, insisting that disability insurance was different from Social Security.
“If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be, you’re not truly disabled; we need you to go back to work,” Mulvaney said in describing the administration’s philosophy behind cutting SSDI payments.
However, for at least one Trump supporter who depends on monthly Social Security payments to pay her bills and stay fed and clothed, the cuts present a very real possibility that the meager $700 a month she gets in SSDI will be taken. Krista Shockey of Waverly, Ohio, voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and didn’t even know Trump was proposing cuts to SSDI until CNN Money told her about it in an interview at a local diner.
“There’s no way I could go back to work,” Shockey said. “I’ve got a lot of problems. I’m crippled in my feet, knees, back, hands.”
“[SSDI is] my only income,” she added.
In addition to the SSDI cuts, the Trump budget is also proposing steep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. Mulvaney defended the cuts to the food stamp program by insinuating that the program was being abused by Americans who would rather mooch off of the government than work for a living.
“If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work,” said Mulvaney, who makes roughly $143,000 per year courtesy of taxpayers.
Mulvaney’s assessment that food stamp recipients don’t work is nakedly untrue. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted in a 2016 study, 82 percent of SNAP recipients have had employment in the past year. However, because wages aren’t keeping up with costs of living, Americans working part-time and even full-time jobs still use food stamps to make ends meet.
“As of right now, I don’t know what I would do,” said 39-year-old Tyra Johnson, of Beattyville, Kentucky, speaking to CNN Money when asked about the impact Trump’s food stamp cuts would have on her household. Johnson also has two children on Medicaid, which the Trump budget would slash by at least $800 billion, despite promising to not touch the program on the campaign trail.
“I’m still trying to process all of this,” she added.
Tom Cahill is a senior editor for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.