House Republicans have now passed legislation that would drastically deprive people of a wide range of programs vital to their financial security in exchange for a promise to allow the federal government to honor its past commitments and pay its bills. These cuts, if in fact enacted, would slash spending on a host of health care, food assistance, housing, and a variety of other programs. As a result, many people will lose access to key programs. The need for this type of assistance is widespread, even in a booming economy, and is generally higher in red states than blue states. Republican lawmakers appear intent on hurting their already struggling constituents
the republican legislation it would cut off access to a variety of programs. Estimates of overall cuts range from an estimated initial cut of 33% in 2024 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, to an immediate reduction of 31% by my colleague Bobby Kogan to a cut of 22% estimated by the White House, House Democrats and Senate Democrats. These numbers only differ because they assume different what-if scenarios: what would happen without this legislation. Democrats in the White House, House and Senate compare the Republican proposal with current spending levels. Bobby Kogan and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argue, I agree correctly, that budgets that do not increase with inflation and population growth reflect budget cuts for the population they serve. The estimates also differ in their assumptions about whether or not the VA will be protected from cuts. In the end, the bottom line is that there is broad agreement that there will be immediate cuts of up to one-third of affected programs if defense and veterans’ health care are protected and those cuts could grow significantly over time to about three-fifths. parts of affected programs.
These cuts are so substantial because House Republicans have prevented any changes to the fiscal side of the ledger, such as taking back Trump’s wasteful tax cuts to reduce the federal government’s deficit. They have also exempted the largest government program: Social Security, Medicare and defense. This means that the anticipated reduction in the deficit must come entirely from cuts to smaller programs.
Just because these are smaller programs doesn’t mean they aren’t crucial to the lives of the people who benefit from them. 42.4 million people, for example, receive food assistance, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Reduce food insecurity among adults about 20% and among children more than 30%. People in the world’s richest country shouldn’t go hungry, but Republicans seem hell-bent on making food insecurity worse.
The need for SNAP and other programs, for example, in health care, which would fall victim to Republican budget-cutting zeal, is generally greater in red states than in blue states. For example, 12.4% of adults in red states often or sometimes go without three meals a day, while this was the case for 10.2% in blue states (see figure below). . Similarly, 12.5% of adults in red states were uninsured as of early 2023, while that was the case for 9.1% in blue states (see figure below). And, crucial in the context of prolonged covid after the pandemic, 13.8% of people in red states had a disability, while 11.4% of blue states did (see figure below). . Not surprisingly, then, people in red states face greater financial insecurity, as measured by people’s inability to cover all their expenses, than people in blue states: 41.6% compared to 37.7% ( see figure below).
Even within states, the need for these programs is not evenly distributed. For example, people without a college degree face greater financial insecurity than people with a college degree. For example, 16% of people without a college degree struggle with food insecurity, compared to 3.9% of people with a college degree. These proportions are again higher than those of the blue states: 14.6% and 3.0%, respectively. And, Black and Latino households struggle more than white households. For example, data pooled from 2022 to ensure large enough sample sizes shows that 50.3% of black people in red states and 49.9% in blue states said they could not afford all of their expenses in that moment. By comparison, 35.8% of whites in red states and 29.8% of whites in blue states indicated the same financial insecurity during that time.
The House Republicans’ budget proposal, if ever enacted, would make things worse in many red states. This is supported by the examples of Alabama and Texas, two red states where people are more economically challenged than in many other red or blue states. Alamba is 45 years old.he in food safety and Texas has 46he in 2021. Under the republican budget plan, 29,000 Alabama women and children and 17,000 seniors could lose food assistance in Alabama. Besides, in Texas, 139,000 women and children and 53,000 older adults could lose food assistance. Lots of people are still fighting, especially in red states, and the republicans are intent on making things worse.
Budgets reflect the values of legislators. House Republicans appear intent on destroying the economic recovery and hurting working families, especially people without college degrees and people of color in red states, judging by their latest decision.