Contact: Brad Woodhouse
Washington, DC – On a national press conference call today, the Children’s Leadership Council (CLC) and children’s advocacy groups slammed the President’s budget as a disservice to the American people which turns its back on our nation’s most important resource, our children. On the call, children’s advocates said the Trump budget represents the same misguided priorities we’ve seen too often in the past: very large tax cuts that primarily benefit those who need them the least and cuts to critical domestic priorities, including those vital to the health and welfare of our children.
“Our children are our future and rather than cuts, our nation needs to make new and sustained investments in programs that support the health, education and nutrition of our children,” said Randi Carmen Schmidt, Executive Director, Children’s Leadership Council. “But this budget does the opposite. Among other things, it slashes food and nutrition assistance for children, guts Medicaid, cuts the Children’s Health Insurance program and makes deep cuts to education programs. But while all this austerity is being applied to programs which are critical to preparing our children for school, work and life, the President’s budget includes hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for people who need them the least. These budget choices are backwards, a disservice to our nation’s children and families, and will be strenuously opposed by the CLC and children’s advocates nationwide.”
Others on the call echoed Schmidt’s concerns about a budget which amounts to a cruel form of Robin Hood in reverse:
Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP):
“The deep and broad cuts in President Trump’s proposed budget are devastating to children, youth, and families, destabilizing their lives and throwing many backward into poverty. These disinvestments are also truly short-sighted, as they take direct aim at children’s healthy and successful development and therefore our nation’s future – whether by cutting nutrition and health supports that improve children’s education and earnings in later life, eliminating after-school child care programs that help parents work and stabilize their families, or shrinking federal supports that help low-income young people complete postsecondary education and move up on the job.”
Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF):
“The impact of the President’s budget on Wisconsin children will be severe because our state, like most others, will not be able to close the gap in federal funding. As Wisconsin’s policy makers try to fill in the holes created by President Trump’s budget, they will cut programs that help children, families, and communities thrive. Moreover, the cuts in the President’s proposal will be felt most by families in rural areas, small towns, and within communities of color—people who are working hard to make a living and give their children the best life possible, but who need access to good schools and quality health care. The President’s budget will punish hard-working families in our state and make it harder for them to achieve the American Dream.”
Shanequa Levin, Every Child Matters, New York State Director:
“As a children’s advocate – and from my personal experience – I know first-hand how government assistance can help break negative generational cycles and improve the lives of children and families. Let’s not cut kids programs so the wealthy can have huge tax cuts. The cuts to kids in this budget won’t heal.”
Kofi Essel, M.D. Children’s National Health System
“Our children deserve better. When our parents and caregivers suffer our children suffer. They come to my clinic and gracefully share with me their uncertainty of where they will sleep overnight. They take me in the corner and whisper to me trying to protect their children at all costs. Without the resources we have been able to provide to counteract the social determinants of health we are turning our backs on a great need.”
For more information, visit the Children’s Leadership Council at childrensleadershipcouncil.org and follow the conversation on Trump’s terrible budget on twitter using the hashtag #CutsHurtKids.
The Children’s Leadership Council is a coalition of leading policy and advocacy organizations that are working every day to improve the health, education and well-being of babies, children and youth in order to prepare them for school, work, and life.
To reach those who participated in today’s call:
Questions for Randi Carmen Schmidt, Shanequa Levin and Kofi Essel can be sent to Brad Woodhouse at [email protected].