President’s Budget Proposal Would Harm Maryland Families, Push Massive Costs to State

The following is a statement from Maryland Center on Economic Policy Executive Director Benjamin Orr.

President Trump’s budget slashes nutrition, health care, and other important assistance that helps more than 1 million Marylanders meet basic living standards – food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care – while giving new tax breaks to the wealthy and powerful. The budget stands in stark contrast to the commitments the President made during his campaign to help those left behind by today’s economy. It would also shift massive costs to Maryland at a time when our state is already struggling to meet needs for education, transportation and other services we all rely on.

For example, the President’s budget would:

  • Slash the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) by $193 billion over ten years targeting the elderly, working families and workers struggling to find a job — and shifting the cost of more than $100 billion of SNAP benefits, a long time federal responsibility, to states. Maryland currently receives $1.1 billion from SNAP, which provides modest benefits that help 687,000 Marylanders, including one in five of the state’s children, afford enough to eat.
  • Cut $600 billion from Medicaid over ten years – on top of the already-massive cuts in Medicaid and subsidies for private coverage included in the House-passed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that President Trump supports and incorporates into his budget. These additional cuts almost certainly would further increase the number of uninsured Marylanders and would shift additional, significant Medicaid costs to Maryland, on top of the $14 billion cost shift in the House health bill over the next 10 years.
  • Cut disability programs by $72 billion, including Social Security Disability Insurance, for workers with disabilities and their families, and Supplemental Security Income, which provides income assistance to poor individuals, including children, with disabilities – breaking the President’s promise not to cut Social Security.
  • Deeply cut investments that expand opportunity and spur long-term economic growth, from job training to education to scientific research. The budget would cut funding for this part of the budget by $54 billion in 2018 alone. The proposed cuts grow far deeper over the decade – the President is proposing for this part of the budget to be cut by more than 40 percent as compared to 2017, after adjusting for inflation. These cuts would take funding for this part of the budget to its lowest level since the Hoover Administration as a share of the economy.

At the same time, the President is proposing massive tax cuts largely for the wealthy and corporations that would likely cost several trillion dollars over the coming decade, if honestly measured. The budget relies on unrealistic economic assumptions, gimmicks, and huge “magic asterisks” to hide the fact that the President’s tax cuts would dramatically increase deficits and debt.

As Congress prepares to advance its own budget plans, Maryland’s delegation must not simply oppose the Trump budget. They must oppose any Congressional budget plan that follows the same architecture. They must oppose cuts to assistance that helps millions of Americans achieve a basic living standard. They must oppose cuts to investments in long-run economic growth and basic public services. And, they must oppose massive tax breaks for the nation’s wealthiest.



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About Maryland Center on Economic Policy

The Maryland Center on Economic Policy advances innovative policy ideas to foster broad prosperity and help our state be the standard-bearer for responsible public policy. We engage in research, analysis, strategic communications, public education, and grassroots alliances promoting robust debate and greater public awareness of the policy choices Maryland residents face together.