Smart public investments at the federal level can create jobs, raise wages, increase education, and help unlock economic prosperity for more people and places in our country. Here are four ways the President’s plan would take North Carolina in the opposite direction:
1. Trump’s budget on food assistance: Slashes food assistance by $193 billion over 10 years and shifts the cost of more than $100 billion in SNAP benefits, a longtime federal responsibility, to the states.
Effect on North Carolina: North Carolina is the 8th hungriest place in the US, with 15.9 percent of our people not always knowing where their next meal is coming from. In 2015, SNAP reached 1.6 million North Carolinians, targeting the most vulnerable folks to help ensure that older adults, veterans, and children get enough to eat each day. SNAP benefits help to stimulate the state’s economy too, pumping upward of $2 billion into the economy. On average, from 2011 to 2014, SNAP benefits lifted 175,000 North Carolinians, including 81,000 children, out of poverty.
2. Trump’s budget on Medicaid: Cuts Medicaid by an additional $600 billion over 10 years – on top of the already huge cuts to Medicaid and health care subsidies in the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that is incorporated into Trump’s budget.
Effects on North Carolina: For each of the past seven years, the state has received $8.2 billion in federal assistance on average — or two-thirds of North Carolina’s Medicaid costs. In 2016, Medicaid served nearly 2 million North Carolinians, or approximately 20 percent of the state’s population. Among those eligible for health care services were children, people with disabilities and older North Carolinians, as well as very low-income parents.
3. Trump’s budget on housing: Cuts Housing Choice Vouchers for more than 250,000 low-income households, a program than mainly helps extremely low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and working families with children. Slashes public housing funding by $1.8 billion, or nearly 29 percent, compared to 2017.
Effects on North Carolina: Our state will lose 6,767 Housing Choice Vouchers, increasing homelessness and other hardships, and undermining the stability that kids need to thrive. North Carolina also loses $50,748,361 from its public housing funding.
4. Trump’s budget on state grants: Outright eliminates the HOME, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Choice Neighborhoods programs that give flexible aid to poor rural and urban communities, a loss of $4.1 billion a year for poor communities.
Effects on North Carolina: Our state would lose $71,274,248 from the elimination of CDBG and $25,575,557 from HOME Funding. These grants help rural communities (of which there are many in North Carolina) improve basic infrastructure like streets and water and sewer lines, provide life-enriching services to youth and seniors, build and rehabilitate affordable housing for low-income residents, and promote economic development. For example, outright elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program at the federal level, in combination with cuts to USDA funding, means North Carolina’s rural communities would have to rely on significant state commitments to maintain their water and sewer systems.
Mel Umbarger is the Senior Communications Specialist for the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center.