Save the Social Safety Net  

May 23, 2017

We decry the proposed White House budget that plans to strip $1.7 trillion from critical anti-poverty programs. This elimination of the foundations of the social safety net comes just weeks after the House of Representatives passed a healthcare bill that would eliminate more than $800 billion in Medicaid benefits over ten years.

The budget now targets funding for safety net intervention programs that are vital to our clients’ well-being. This includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides sustenance to those who face the daily reality of hunger. Close to 70 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter are in households with seniors or people with disabilities. Also in the crosshairs are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which are critical to the well-being of elderly, disabled, and blind Americans, including 1.3 million children.

For our attorneys and financial counselors, such programs are tools in their arsenal to help low-income clients. Those who say these safety-net programs are rife with fraud, or that many beneficiaries are not truly in need of assistance, are putting politics above sound policy. These programs play a vital role in helping struggling families afford their basic needs – a meal on the table and income to buy medicine, pay rent and survive.