It's no secret how I feel about dramatic and poorly thought out cuts to government spending. The government subsidizes a wide variety of necessary programs that are often cut because most Americans do not ever feel the impact of the spending. Because if you've never been hungry or homeless, $122 million dollars for emergency shelter and food, may sound like a waste.
Until you consider that $122 million dollars is for, among other things, people who are without shelter due to natural disasters and other events completely outside of anyone's control. We've all seen enough hurricanes, floods, fires, and other severe weather events. If you have lost your home in a forest fire, that $122 million won't be a waste to you anymore. But unfortunately, some people will realize the necessary of this Emergency Food and Shelter Board Program too late.
The Emergency Shelter Program is just one of the many programs that the President has promised to cut in his budget. Other programs include Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to elderly people and shut-ins, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which pays for heating in the winter for low income families, the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal services to low income Americans, and the National Endowment of the Arts, which subsidizes art in every state.
The common of thread in a lot of the programs the President wants to cut is that these programs that help low-income people. These are programs that privileged people deem unnecessary because they themselves have never had to rely on them. To someone who has never struggled to pay for heat, it is difficult to imagine why LIHEAP is such a vital program. In their zeal to cut down on the spending by the federal government, many Representatives will hurt their constituents by cutting programs that millions of Americans rely on to make it through the day.
Of course, that's not a new hot take. As someone who has been struggling to pay my taxes, I understand the frustration that high taxes can bring. But just because a program doesn't provide monetary results doesn't mean it is a program that the government should not be subsidizing. We have all relied on some government program or another in our lives, and just because we may not be able to see why a program isn't important doesn't mean there aren't people who's existence depends on it.
Which is all to say, if you have benefited from government programs or government spending, even if you just learned things from watching Sesame Street on PBS, call your Congressperson and tell them that. You can speak from the heart, or use scripts from Call Them In to tell them not to eliminate programs that millions of lower-income and middle income Americans rely on.