PROPOSED CUTS REINFORCE TREND OF GUTTING CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT
Baltimore—The NAACP issued the following statement regarding the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget from President Donald J. Trump.
President Trump’s budget proposal in every way possible seeks to cloak a shift of the nation’s resources away from America’s most vulnerable communities and toward unfair tax breaks for the wealthy and major corporations. His budget compounds its animosity toward vulnerable and communities of color by defunding civil rights enforcement.
Despite campaign promises to the contrary, President Trump’s budget provides tax cuts to individuals making over $1 million annually by cutting $1.85 trillion in a decade to ACA and Medicaid. These cuts could lead to loss of health care coverage for over 20 million individuals including the disabled, children and families and subsidies for low income individuals.
Additional cuts will impact low-income communities, the environment, women, immigrants and others. President Trump’s budget would also defund and cut at least 10 percent of key civil rights enforcement positions across the federal government. According to the Center for American Progress, cuts would slash 7 percent of the staff from the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, “despite a 75 percent increase in pending complaints between 2009 and 2015.” Trump’s budget would not only cut 249 full-time positions at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but would also eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, whose programs served over 2 million low-income individuals with legal representation last year.
“Great nations are known by how they care for the old and the vulnerable, not by how much they can take away from them to give to their wealthy friends,” said NAACP Chairman Leon W. Russell. “I am not sure what is more insidious – regurgitating the sham of old trickle-down theories of economics, or purposely refusing to adequately fund civil rights positions necessary to protect individuals from voter suppression, job discrimination or police brutality,” he added.