Trump budget a return to individual responsibility

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Chris Woodward (

budget cutsOpinions over President Trump's budget plan remain mixed, including from those in minority communities.

According to The Associated Press, Bishop Dwayne Royster of Philadelphia's Living Water United Church of Christ says non-white families will be "devastated" by proposed cuts to programs, including Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and Social Security's disability program. The president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Jacqueline Cooper, says children from low-income and working-class black families will be particularly hurt.

Horace Cooper, a member of the Project 21 (National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives) at the National Center for Public Policy Research, is disappointed in the AP's reporting.

"Instead of acknowledging this was the view of some, they suggested or implied that universally black America is against the idea of our country living within its means," Cooper tells OneNewsNow. "We have moved away from the It's your individual responsibility to provide for yourself and your family mindset in this country – and the Trump budget, if it were adopted, would change that."

Cooper argues that the U.S. is moving towards a European-style system where the government sees to it that everyone gets the kinds of things that they want and need.


"The problem is even in Europe – where this has been going on for over 30 years – people find these benefits inadequate and they continue to clamor for more," he warns.

If you ask Cooper, the American system has always been geared toward transforming the economy in a way that makes it possible for each person to be able to achieve.

"[But] what has been particular hurtful for black Americans and for low-income people is that the benefits programs [offered by the government] trick people or seduce people into stepping out of the workforce in exchange for what ends up being almost a lifetime, even multi-generational support," he continues.

"It's only been the last eight years, but we have the highest number of people receiving food stamps in American history; we have the highest percentage of people receiving food stamps in American history; and we have the highest numbers of people receiving SSI assistance."

And those numbers, he laments, are escalating.

"The problem is, whether it's housing, whether it's food, the actual support is inadequate," he adds. "What our system used to try to do is in the event of an emergency, we make it easy for you to have access and we make it hard for you to have long-term use. We've done exactly the opposite with the Obama budgets and the transformations that have occurred."

Cooper believes that's destructive to individuals and to families.

"I would prefer if AP would reach out to the kinds of people who understand that it is better if a young person is encouraged to get the skills or the education necessary so that they can compete in the workforce," he shares, "and [that] when they want to decide where they want to live, what they want to eat, or what their experiences are going to be, they do so because they can select it based on the income that they are earning."

Government, by nature, is going to provide an alternative, he says.

"For an emergency, that's okay," the Project 21 spokesman stresses, "[but] it's not good for long-term. And the main overarching principle of the Trump budget is that we cannot afford to just write checks and make the future generations pay for it – black, brown, white, it doesn't matter."


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