We have abandoned the concept of improving our infrastructure, which would be a source of decent jobs across the entire country. Instead, the leadership opts to leave us with roads filled with pot-hole and bridges on the verge of collapse under the pretense of 'balancing the budget'.
Infrastructure spending is about 2.5 percent of our gross domestic product. In Europe that figure is closer to 5 percent. And in China where we are shipping many of our jobs, that figure is between 9 percent and 12 percent.
60 percent of all of the jobs lost during the recession were mid-wage jobs, while the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs. Currently 25 percent of the workers in the United States earn wages that are at or below the federal poverty level. The United States has a higher percentage of workers in the low wage sector than any other major industrialized nation in the world.
The House Budget Committee’s budget plan would convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) into a block grant beginning in 2021 and cut funding steeply — by $125 billion (34 percent) between 2021 and 2025. Cuts of this magnitude would end food assistance for millions of low-income families, cut benefits for millions of households, or some combination of the two. The prior Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan, proposed similarly deep SNAP cuts in each of the last four House budgets.
If the cuts came solely from eliminating eligibility for certain categories of households or individuals, states would have to cut an average of 11 to 12 million people from the program (relative to SNAP enrollment without the cuts) each year between 2021 and 2025. If the cuts came solely from across-the-board benefit cuts, states would have to cut an average of almost $55 per person per month in 2021 to 2025 (in nominal dollars).
States would be left to decide whose benefits to reduce or terminate. They would have no good choices — the program already provides an average of only $1.42 per person per meal, primarily to poor children, working-poor parents, seniors, people with disabilities, and others struggling to make ends meet.
The cuts would come on top of SNAP cuts that have occurred recently or are occurring under current law.