Alliance Position Statement on the Administration’s America First Budget

2017-03-17 | Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is deeply concerned about the budget blueprint sent to Congress by the Trump Administration.

A hallmark of our country’s democracy is to ensure that everyone has the ability to reach their potential and fully contribute to our communities. A strong and vibrant economy depends on more than resources; it is dependent upon the strength of our human capital. There’s no greater investment for our nation to make, than in its people. 

The Administration’s budget proposal, while an opening salvo in what will be a longer-term budget process, is a clear blueprint of what the Administration prioritized and directs Congress to prioritize, is at odds with our vision of a healthy and equitable society. These proposed deep cuts to non-defense discretionary programs would threaten the well-being of many in our country and would ultimately threaten the economic strength and overall vitality of our country.

The proposed budget disproportionately affects individuals living with low incomes, people of color, the elderly, people living with disability, and those living in rural areas. The programs that would cease to exist under this budget proposal are ones that provide significant pathways for people to have economic opportunity and also provide life sustaining services when they're most needed. 

When proposing these cuts, OMB Director Mulvaney suggested that decisions were made based upon evidence. We strongly disagree. The advancing neurosciences have proven the lifelong and negative consequences of toxic stress in people’s lives. For children, in particular, significant stress from ongoing hardship or threat, such as extreme poverty, abuse or neglect, can disrupt the biological foundations of learning, behavior, and health, with life-long consequences. Though the amount cut from children’s programs may seem small in comparison to other cuts, the more significant cuts to vital family support services will have compounding negative impacts on children within those families. 

The vital role these programs play in the lives of Americans is in not only building well-being for families and communities, but also in the construction of a strong foundation to maintain this strength over time.