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Children's Groups: Trump Budget Would Push WI Backward

The head of a Wisconsin children's advocacy group says President Donald Trump's budget proposal runs counter to the state's motto. (WI Dept. of Administration)
The head of a Wisconsin children's advocacy group says President Donald Trump's budget proposal runs counter to the state's motto. (WI Dept. of Administration)
May 25, 2017

MADISON, Wis. – Groups that advocate for children are voicing concerns that President Donald Trump's budget proposal slashes funding for nutrition, health care and other programs that help hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites meet basic needs.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin calls the budget "right on target" and asserts that it's in keeping with the president's campaign promises.

But Ken Taylor, executive director of Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, says the budget would do great harm to the state.

"The cuts proposed in the president's budget would result in more of Wisconsin's children being sick, hungry, and struggling in school,” Taylor states. “Those cuts would have lifelong consequences for our children's preparation to be productive adults, which will end up harming our state as we work to compete in the 21st century global, knowledge-based economy."

Taylor says his group and others will be watching closely the reactions of other members of the Wisconsin delegation.

Randi Carmen Schmidt, executive director of the Children's Leadership Council, says the president is reneging on some of his campaign promises, and she points to a recent Quinnipiac University poll of Americans.

"Seventy-four percent of voters polled, including 54 percent of Republicans, opposed cutting federal funding for Medicaid,” she points out. “And 83 percent were against cutting funding for after school and summer school programs. But that's exactly what this budget does."

The proposal as it stands cuts $600 dollars from Medicaid over the next decade, reduces the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, by $193 billion over the next decade and cuts disability programs by $72 billion dollars.

Taylor says Wisconsin and other states will pay a huge price – while the wealthiest Americans get another tax cut.

"Wisconsin's state motto is 'Forward', but President Trump's budget is backward, because it gives huge tax breaks to the special interests who rig the system on their own benefit while making kids pick up the tab,” he states. “This budget is exactly backwards from what Wisconsin's children need to thrive."

In Taylor's opinion, the budget proposal relies on unrealistic economic assumptions about growth in the economy and gimmicks to hide the tax cuts.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI