Originally published on The Huffington Post.
By Linda Meric
It’s that time of year again…tax time! A good opportunity to reflect on all the things our taxes provide, from clean air and water, to roads and bridges, schools and teachers. National security whether it’s through defense or through economic programs that help families stay safe and secure like health care, social security, food stamps and low-income child care and housing assistance.
Now, all of that is at stake. Congress will soon be debating Trump’s dangerous proposed budget that our tax dollars will be funding. This is supposed to be about the public’s welfare, not some private venture, and yet Trump and his cronies appear to be thinking only about the welfare of the very wealthy and corporations. If they get their way, we’ll see massive cuts to some of the most important programs for working families and our communities, while military spending skyrockets and taxes for the extremely wealthy and corporations plummet.
Just like Trump himself, this budget does not work for the vast majority of families, our communities, or our economy. Medicaid provides health care coverage for approximately 37 million children, including children with disabilities, children in foster care and children from low-income families. According to the most up-to-date annual data, SNAP/food stamps is estimated to have helped over 19 million children under the age of eighteen. Why would we cut these programs so vital to family economic security and our future?
The truth is, we need to not only protect existing programs, but expand them. Low-income and middle class families need more support than they’re getting, and they need greater access to opportunity and a fair chance to get ahead, thrive and succeed. Essie, from Colorado, explains, “I am doing everything I can with everything I have in order to provide for my daughter and myself, and yet these people treat me as if I am not worthy of assistance.”
One way to be sure more families can thrive is to invest more in domestic, non-defense programs rather than siphoning critical funds away from those areas to put more into an already bloated military budget.
Another way is to be sure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. While Ivanka Trump promotes child care tax credits that will benefits families like hers and her wealthy friends’, most Americans struggle with the huge cost of quality care that is necessary for children’s development and for parents to be able to stay employed.
Just ask Jessie Krone, who works full-time at a low-wage job and cannot afford child care for her daughter. She says, “I want to make it clear that what happened to me can happen to anyone. I have a college degree and I had a stable job, but now I am struggling to keep my daughter and myself safe and healthy.”
The tax system may seem like one of those things that’s too big for one person to affect or influence. But by coming together, we can have the voice and power needed to make our priorities heard and fight back against the toxic Trump budget.
Just a few weeks ago, people power helped bring down the Republicans’ attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and take away our health care. Now, they’re trying to figure out new ways to do that. And they’re moving on to these regressive tax proposals that will also hurt their constituents.
We need to be sure that policymakers in DC hear from us, and hear our message loud and clear. Don’t cut the programs that low-income and middle class families rely on. Invest more money into our communities. Don’t put more of our tax dollars into the military. And make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. It’s time to stop giving them a free ride funded by the rest of us.
Take action now. Sign and share this petition from the Coalition for Human Needs and other organizations. Show Congress that there’s widespread support for a fair federal budget.
Trump’s budget will make our families, our neighborhoods, and our nation less secure. It puts our children’s chances of advancement and success at risk. Let’s all say no to playing politics with the well-being of the next generations. Speak out and take a stand to protect your tax dollars and the future of our country.