Report: Two-Thirds of GOP Budget Cuts Come From Low Income Programs

Written by SK Ashby

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has taken a closer look at the numbers available in the GOP budgets and found that the overwhelming majority of cuts come from programs that help the poor.

The budgets adopted on March 19 by the House Budget Committee and the Senate Budget Committee each cut more than $3 trillion over ten years (2016-2025) from programs that serve people of limited means. These deep reductions amount to 69 percent of the cuts to non-defense spending in both the House and Senate plans.

Each budget plan derives more than two-thirds of its non-defense budget cuts from programs for people with low or modest incomes even though these programs constitute less than one-quarter of federal program costs. Moreover, spending on these programs is already scheduled to decline as a share of the economy between now and 2025.


As the Center also points out, this is a conservative estimate that may not measure the full consequences of the GOP's budget because it is not specifically itemized.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based their report on the assumption that every program will be cut an equal amount, but that may be the case. It's possible, for example, that SNAP (food stamps) or Pell Grants could be singled out for a much bigger cut than other programs.

Even if every program were cut an equal amount, millions of people, including millions of children, could become impoverished because the GOP budget allows certain tax cuts to expire.

The House Budget Committee plan would allow critical provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to expire at the end of 2017, which would increase the number of people in poverty by an estimated 1.8 million, including 1.0 million children — and deepen poverty for another 14.6 million people, including 6.7 million children, in 2018. The House plan would also allow the American Opportunity Tax Credit to expire at the end of 2017, which would cause millions of low- and moderate-income families to lose some or all of the tax credits they receive to help offset college costs.

There are some tax cuts the GOP isn't interested in preserving because they benefit low incomes.

As terrible as this all sounds, the analysis conducted by the The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is based on the House and Senate Republican budgets. It is not based on the even-more-ridiculous House conservative budget.