The budget released by President Trump yesterday will hit children like a freight train.
Some Really Bad Math
For every $1 dollar cut from agencies serving children, the military and security apparatus grows by $3. The Defense budget grows by 9% while health and human services is slashed 18%. Homeland security grows by 7.3% while education is cut by 14%.
The Administration cherry picked information to justify these domestic spending cuts while turning a blind eye to decades of military boondoggles and expensive, ill-advised strategies created by private security companies seeking contracts under the guise of keeping us safe at home.
Its a Losing Game
While the news media and political establishment are consumed with the Russia-Trump conspiracy, we are missing the devastating international story that will define our nation’s future. Contrast the proposed $9 billion spending cut to bedrock education programs with what our real competitors in the global economy, China and India, are doing:
China is investing heavily education with the goal of 200 million Baccalaureates by 2030. That’s not simply a lot more college grads that in the U.S., it’s more graduates than all the workers in the U.S. economy combined.
By 2020, India will be hitting its goal of 8 million bachelor’s degrees awarded a year. That’s three times more college graduates than the high-water mark in the U.S. of 2 million a year.
Sick Kids Can’t Learn
The budget also slashed $12 billion from health care. Last week’s party-line votes to increase the cost of health care for middle class families and end health care coverage for millions who are less fortunate was a real show of force for the Republicans who support the President. Congressmen Costello, Meehan and Fitzpatrick failed to vote in the interest of more than 360,000 of their constituents (nearly half of whom are children) who are on Medicaid or receive federal help paying for insurance, when they voted to support the health care bills in committee.
After thousands of constituents, doctors, nurses and others reached out these Congressmen, the devastating impact of their votes to their constituents and perhaps the risk to their tenure in Congress became increasingly clear. Now Congressman Costello is rethinking his position on the health care cuts. In response to the President’s budget proposal Congressman Meehan also is singing a more thoughtful tune.
It’s not news that party politics is driving the budget process. That’s the Washington routine. While our President proposes a retrograde budget that disinvests in children, our real competitors are investing to win more of the global economic pie for their children. By 2020, China and India together will have a larger share of the world’s college graduates than the U.S. Given what we know about the rising health and education status of children in the powerhouses of India and China, only in the world of alternative facts can votes for the proposed cuts to education and health care for families and children make any sense.
P.S. In so many ways children are the victims in this budget. It’s not just the obvious cuts that will harm kids, it’s also the complete limitation of funds for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Legal Services, the Commission on National Service and the Corporation for National Broadcasting that steal the future from our children.
Storm Harrisburg as we deliver a flurry of advocacy directly to legislators next week! Join our Capitol Caravan March 21st and tell them how much pre-K means to you.
The GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will strip 24 million people of their current health insurance, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. HBCU’s are real pioneers when it comes to school choice.