May 23, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Janine Walsh
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscans Fight Back Against Immoral and Destructive Budget Proposal
The first major budget proposal decimates programs for America's poor and vulnerable
Washington, D.C. - Today, President Donald Trump released the full budget proposal which contains detailed information about major cuts to Medicaid, as well as a call for changes to anti-poverty programs that will limit assistance to populations in need. The Franciscan Action Network will not stand by and accept the unconscionable disregard for human welfare demonstrated in this budget and by this administration.
Despite promises that everyone will still have access to healthcare, the President is proposing massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, the wealthy are receiving major tax breaks. According to the President's budget proposal, not only will Medicaid be cut by over 800 billion dollars, but SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) could see significant reductions and changes to its structure, which would affect roughly 44 million people.
Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network stated, "Ultimately, this budget reverses most if not all federal efforts being made to address such social ills as homelessness, food insecurity, poverty, and health care for the poor. Our administration is turning their backs on the populations with the highest need. How is this 'making America great again'? We do not support this mentality nor these budgetary decisions. Our highest calling from God, both as a country and as people of faith, is to care for the poor, marginalized and most vulnerable. Yet the Trump Administration continues to make clear that they do not hold this as a core value."
These cuts become even more detrimental when their snowball effect is taken into account: not only will the social safety net drastically be cut, but if tax cuts for the rich do not result in a trickle down effect, a potentially lagging economy could be used as an excuse in the future to cut social services even further. In other words, the poor and underserved are being systematically written out of economic and social decision making for the sake of the wealthiest. Pope Francis directly condemns this approach, stating that "some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting."
The Franciscan Action Network will continue to stand with the Pope and society's most vulnerable in our ongoing education and advocacy for a more just and equal world.