Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409
MADISON — President Donald Trump’s budget, announced earlier this week, utterly betrays Trump’s promises to people he vowed to stand up for and makes Republicans’ priorities clear: Make deep cuts to programs Wisconsin families rely on in order to pay for the massive giveaways the Trump tax plan gave to billionaires and big corporations.
“The playbook Trump and national Republicans are using has been causing damage in Wisconsin for the last seven years with Gov. Scott Walker’s failed policies,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Wisconsin has been ground zero for these divisive, poor-shaming laws under Scott Walker. Now Trump and national Republicans have caught on to the Walker way of dividing and destroying.”
Here are specific ways Trump’s plan will impact Wisconsin:
Trump’s budget would lead to millions more uninsured Americans. It calls for repealing the Affordable Care Act, which helped 211,000 uninsured people in Wisconsin gain insurance coverage.
On top of that, Trump wants to impose benefit caps and make $1.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, a program that provides health insurance coverage for 17% of Wisconsinites, which includes seniors, people with disabilities, families with children and low-income residents.
And Trump’s budget slashes Medicare by a whopping $554 billion, cuts that could undermine coverage for the 1,050,020 elderly and disabled individuals who rely on Medicare in Wisconsin.
“Democrats believe in health care for all, period,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Republicans’ continued attempts to sabotage Obamacare despite widespread public opposition just shows how out of touch Republicans are with our values.”
Trump’s budget could force Wisconsin families to go hungry and make it harder to fight poverty. Around 13% of Wisconsinites relied on food stamps at some point last year to help make ends meet in hard times — and nearly two-thirds are parents or in families with children. Under Trump’s budget, nutrition assistance programs would be slashed by $213.5 billion, a 30% cut.
Trump’s cuts to nutrition assistance will hurt Wisconsin’s economy. The 728,000 Wisconsinites who rely on food stamps shop in local grocery stores, supermarkets and other retailers to buy food, driving nearly $923 million in economic activity each year.
Cuts to nutrition programs also impact Wisconsinite farmers. On top of the massive cuts to SNAP, Trump’s budget calls for a $3.5 billion cut to the Department of Agriculture and slashing crop insurance programs by a third. Deep cuts for crop insurance programs would prevent some farmers from insuring their entire acreage, leaving farm families across the country without the safety net they need.
“Trump’s attacks on welfare, like Scott Walker’s, are a thinly-veiled attempt to hurt Wisconsinites struggling to make ends meet,” said Laning. “These cuts will make the inequalities in our society deeper and more profound.”
Trump’s budget could lead to an increase in homelessness, while hurting homeowners and communities in Wisconsin. It eliminates programs like Section 8 vouchers that help lower-income families afford housing, ends grants to help homeowners purchase homes, and repeals Community Development Block Grants, which provide Wisconsin with roughly $56,468,060 million in funding for housing, infrastructure, commercial development and more.
“In Wisconsin we help our neighbors who are down on their luck, we don’t kick them while they’re down. Programs like Section 8 have helped lift many families out of poverty and get them back on their feet. Republicans callously suggesting eliminating them is appalling.”
This week Walker traveled to D.C. looking for Trump’s help fixing Wisconsin’s roads, which are the 2nd worst in the nation. But like Walker, who has let Wisconsin infrastructure crumble, the Trump budget cuts more from federal infrastructure investments than it adds — slashing at least $250 billion from key programs Wisconsin relies on to repair road, bridge, transit, aviation, drinking and wastewater systems. Walker’s praise for Trump has apparently made little difference because Wisconsin could lose nearly $2.6 billion in federal transportation funding as a result, on top of billions in unfunded infrastructure repairs that hurt businesses, workers and families across the state.
“Scott Walker has disastrously mismanaged and neglected Wisconsin infrastructure for the last seven years,” said Laning. “Walker went to the White House this week to beg Trump for federal help to repair our crumbling roads and came up short. We need real, long-term investment in our infrastructure, and neither Trump nor Walker can afford that after all of their tax breaks for billionaires and corporations.
“Neglecting our state, sabotaging health-care access and making it more difficult for low-income Wisconsinites to get ahead are lowlights of Walker’s seven years as governor. These policies abandoned hard-working Wisconsinites, and Trump’s budget will have similarly catastrophic effects on the American people.”