Cuts to the safety net could be bad news for Trump’s base.
By Dwyer Gunn
Earlier today, Congress confirmed Mick Mulvaney, President’s Donald Trump’s nominee for budget director. Mulvaney, a Republican from South Carolina, has, in the past, proposed dramatic cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security. Judging by a new report from the the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive think tank, those cuts would be especially detrimental to white, working-class Americans.
The report analyzes how social safety net programs like welfare and food stamps help various demographic groups. And, as the chart below illustrates, the social safety net does a lot for white, working-class Americans (a demographic that Trump presumably cares about):
Some of this reflects basic demographics — there are more white people in this country than black or Hispanic people. But there’s more to it than that. “[Social safety net programs] reduce poverty proportionately more among working-age white adults without a college degree than among other adults lacking a college degree,” the report authors write. “Among otherwise-poor adults, these programs reduced poverty by 44 percent for white adults and by 35 percent for all other adults.”
While Trump has yet to flesh out a plan to pay for his proposed tax cuts and infrastructure spending plans, many are expecting slashes to the social safety net in the coming years.