Trump’s Budget Cuts Food Stamps, Diverts Up To $1 Billion To Private Religious Schools

As part of its 2019 $4.4 trillion budget, the Trump administration wants to cut food stamps for low-income Americans, while diverting $1 billion to private religious schools.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the new food stamp proposal would replace a portion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with boxes of food — juice, pasta, canned meat and beans — delivered to more than 16 million low-income households, notes CNBC.

This new federal power over what poor people eat would replace about half of SNAP’s cash benefits.

Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said:

When combined with cutting health insurance and other core supports, it’s just a devastating blow to low-income individuals and communities.

The Center for Inquiry notes that Trump’s proposed budget diverts up to $1 billion in taxpayer funds to private religious schools via private school voucher programs; something Trump’s core base of conservative Christians have lobbied for as “school choice.”

The Center for Inquiry reports that religiously affiliated private schools “are given enormous leeway to discriminate against LGBTQ, nonreligious, and disabled students, and families forfeit their due process rights upon entering private schools.”

Robyn Blumner, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said:

This administration is falling over itself to please the religious right, and this time it is to encourage parents to remove their children from pluralistic and secular public schools to enroll them instead in schools designed to indoctrinate children into religious beliefs.

Voucher schemes benefit only a small number of students with no meaningful improvement in educational outcomes. What they also do is promote a divided America, where children go to school with only those who share their parents’ religious beliefs.

Public schools are tremendous incubators for tolerance, especially religious tolerance, where children interact with others from different faith traditions and no faith at all.

The United States has escaped religious strife in part due to this system. Unfortunately the administration is looking to undermine what has worked so well for so long.

(Sources: CNBC, Center for Inquiry / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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