The budget proposal just released by the Trump Administration is an all-out assault on working families and the most vulnerable among us—low-income people, children, and even disabled workers. This heartless and irresponsible budget, moreover, represents a shameless repudiation of President Trump’s campaign promises to fight for “forgotten” working people in this country, especially when compared to the massive tax cuts the Administration has proposed for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations. But, adding insult to injury, the Administration is trying to weasel out of acknowledging one of the budget’s particularly galling broken promises: cutting Social Security.
The President’s budget proposes deep cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which ensures workers who have suffered a serious and long-lasting disability. Despite the fact that President Trump repeatedly promised not to cut Social Security or Medicare while on the campaign trail, his budget would slash billions from SSDI.
In a move that gives weasels a bad name, Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, asserted that “999 people out of a thousand” think that SSDI “is not part of Social Security.” We beg to differ. Despite Mr. Mulvaney’s dissembling, SSDI is a core component of Social Security’s old age, survivor, and disability insurance (OASDI) program. Millions of women and children rely on income from SSDI. Although SSDI benefits are modest, they are critically important and keep half of SSDI recipients above the poverty line.
The President’s budget would harm women and families in countless and devastating ways. For all the vulnerable workers who earned their SSDI benefits by working and paying into the Social Security system, SSDI needs to be maintained and strengthened, not cut. So let’s call this proposed cut to SSDI what it is: an attack on disabled workers, and on Social Security.