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Congress Plans Tax Breaks for the Rich, Spending Cuts for Working Families

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By Pete Levine ·

Congress has returned from summer recess and the outlook for CEOs, corporations and billionaires couldn’t be rosier.

Over the next several months, congressional leaders will try to pay for massive tax handouts to the wealthy and corporations by slashing vital programs and services that working Americans depend on and employ thousands of AFSCME members.

The House and the Senate are reading from the same playbook, one that will shape their budget and spending proposals and their eventual tax legislation, which seeks to give tax breaks for the wealthiest 1 percent and provide windfalls for multinational corporations and hedge funds.

That agenda mirrors President Donald Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2018, which calls for deep cuts that would hurt working families in every state, all in the name of financing tax cuts to a handful of the wealthiest individuals and corporations down the road. 

Among the long list of programs congressional leaders are looking to cut include:

  • Medicaid and Medicare: The only source of health care coverage for tens of millions of elderly, severely-disabled and low-income Americans and a major source of funding for many health care and public service professions.
  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program): The largest food safety net program, SNAP provides nutrition assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families.
  • Public education: Cuts to critical federal funding to states to train teachers, support before- and after-school programs and keep classroom sizes manageable.
  • Pell Grants and student loans: These grants and loans make the dream of college a reality for low- and middle-income students.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: A way to encourage more college graduates to pursue careers in public service, this program forgives candidates’ college loan debts after 10 years of public service.
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration): An agency that ensures safe working conditions for all Americans.

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