By George Goehl
Donald Trump’s choice to separate migrant children from their parents has unleashed a flood of outrage across the political spectrum. While the president has stepped back from separating families at the border, his solution is to imprison children withtheir parents, and change laws so he can hold them indefinitely.
Trump is a master of bait-and-switch: He distracts voters with tough-on-immigration politics, then sells out working families. Irreparable harm to thousands of children is a price he’s willing to pay, if it helps him score political points.
While these hateful acts against children are Trump’s most blatant to date, they’re hardly the first. His policy agenda is a full-throated attack on children from poor and working class families.
What’s happening at the border is part of a larger pattern: an all-out war on kids. Your children will feel the hurt of the Trump’s agenda, too. Here are a just a few highlights.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutritional support to over 19 million children, or 1 in 4 kids in America. The Farm Bill just passed by the House will reduce SNAP benefits for over 2 million people, including hundreds of thousands of children.
Children who participate in SNAP are less likely to be hospitalized, underweight, or at risk of developmental delays. Now they’re at risk.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is dismantling programs that protect children from dangerous toxins that permanently damage cognitive ability.
Pruitt’s decision to dissolve the National Center for Environmental Research makes it easier for big corporations to dump chemicals into our air and water and curbs our ability to document the impact toxins have on our children. Pruitt also rejected a ban on organophosphate pesticides — first developed as human nerve gas agents during World War II and proven to cause fetal brain damage.
Trump’s housing secretary Ben Carson is also on the attack: Carson wants to triple the minimum rent that the poorest Americans pay for federally subsidized housing assistance, which would put nearly a million children at risk of homelessness.
Trump also wants to employ a rarely used budget maneuver called “rescission” to eliminate $7 billion from the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
This all constitutes a war on kids. If you’re not part of Trump’s family or the corporate class he works for, his agenda is bad for our children. Not just someone else’s children — our children.
Each policy is likely to hurt the health and development of children of color in particular. Yet even as he fans racist fires to divide poor and working class communities, Trump is doling out pain to white kids as well. White families are the majority of residents in federally subsidized housing programs. The most likely person to be on Medicaid, the federally supported health care program for low-income families, is white.
So if children are losing, who wins? The wealthy corporate class wins. We were told Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax giveaway would create better jobs for everyday people. Instead, corporations have been 69 times more likely to buy their own stock than invest in better wages or benefits for their workers.
What we’re witnessing at our border is one part of a war against all children — whether by cuts to schools, child nutrition, health care, safe air and water, or family-supporting jobs.
“You’re fired!” is what the White House is saying to our children, our nation’s future. And while brown migrant children are in the headlines this week, Trump is hoping we won’t notice that all children are in his crosshairs, every day of the week.
George Goehl is the director of People’s Action. He leads a 30-state national effort to unite poor and working class people across race and place to challenge inequality, climate change, and racial division.
As predicted, the tax cuts will be paid for at the expense of our childrens’ futures.
How about they look for the $10 trillion that has gone missing from the Pentagon in the past 20 years.
Mark Holley says
No my kid’s won’t feel the “hurt”, I provide for them not the government! Trump’s solution is to follow the law!
Common Sense says
I think it is becoming more and more obvious every day that trump and his gang of criminals want to completely abolish the middle class. This while his loyal cult bobbleheads agree with every insanity that comes out of his mouth or typed by his stubby little fingers. How sad this is to watch
Welfare and section 8 housing was supposed to be a short term hand out,not handed down from generation to generation like a gold watch.
Right now you can provide for your children and good for you! What happens when your job folds? The safety net is for everyone who needs it. I hope it is there should you need it in the future.
When all else fails, use children to push your agenda.
To those hypocrites without soul or compassion, who say to hell with “other children” and demonize the poor and disenfranchised:
OK. . . you should then NEVER drive on a road MY taxes contributed to. You must not ever send your child to a school MY taxes helped pay for. You should never live in the safety of the country where MY taxes helped pay for the military, police, and judicial system, etc.etc.
We DO NOT live on this planet alone! May KARMA deliver your just rewards for your hatred of “humanity”.
May YOU and YOURS never need a helping hand!
Born and Raised Here says
Whoever said it was okay to bring children into this world, and except the federal government to raise them. If you can’t afford to raise your children, don’t have them.
Not hate,same hand for years and years.Oh welfare recipients and section 8 should be drug tested.If they are clean fine but I don’t want MY tax dollars paying for there drug habit.Just let me know which roads I can drive on.
@sherry…..I didn’t see a comment where someone posted “to hell with other children”. I don’t even think I’ve ever heard a rational, sane person say something like that. Most of us feel (at least I do) that majority of these children are with parents that primary concern is not the welfare of their children. So giving thousands of dollars a month to a irresponsible adult doesn’t seem like the best thing to do for the child. If a parent is drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, but can’t put food on the table for their children, they probably should have those children. I raised 5 children, and fork never went near my mouth until each one of those kids were fed. So, if you know a hard working family that has responsible parent(s) that have fallen on hard times, I’ll be happy to personally buy the a month’s worth of food.
Just the facts says
This isn’t about immigrant children. This is about American children, the future of our country.
Those of you talking about Section 8 housing and Food stamps being passed down simply have no idea what you are talking about.
What happens to the children when a parent loses a job? When a place like sea Ray closes?
As for what your tax dollars are paying for…trump’s golf trips, Pruitt flying first class, our local government overpaying for sick buildings. These are the things everyone shoud be concerned about.
Kyle Lyle says
Why do those who are least able to support children have the most offspring? Free birth control, so no reason for it. Their religious superstitions should not require me to fund them.
Can’t afford to support kids? Don’t have them~
Food stamps/welfare can be a great program for peope that come upon hard times, unfortunately it has become an “entitlement” for so many people. I know of many families who are on it just so they dont have to work, some of them even sell their cards for alcohol and cigarettes instead of putting food on the table for their children. Volunteer in foster care or a title 1 elementary school for a while if you want the true story.
I am sure all these supporters of the “children” are pro life. Talk about hypocrites
This and that says
If one can not find a job now , they simply dont want one. Ps maybe the extra welfare money is spent on illegal immigrants.
Yes. . . “justsayin”! You are right on!
Very often those who passionately want to overturn Roe VS Wade and FORCE women to give birth to children no matter the circumstance, are the often very ones who then “blame” those same women for needing assistance. Many “Pro Lifers” are religious zealot hypocrites who fight against affordable birth control as well.
Yes, there will always be those that abuse “the system” just as there are those that cheat on their taxes, for example. BUT, we should NOT be labeling “every” person on food stamps and other assistance as low life criminals. That is nothing short of “BIGOTRY”!
We all are part of the social culture of the human species, and we all need to help each other find a way to educated dignity and success in life.
For example, while I do not have children, I am fine with paying ever increasing taxes for “public” schools because a highly educated populace lifts us all up. We need to stop being so very “self centered and GREEDY”, unless we are prepared to be “COMPLETELY” self sustaining. Otherwise, judging and demeaning every one of those less fortunate will always be hypocritical, bigoted and even racist.
Take their welfare away and the streets will fill and no business will be safe.
Make them hungry, and instead of working you best believe these entitled poor that they will rob rape and pillage.
Would you steal to fill your childs stomach ?
I bet you would when they started crying about being hungry.
Don’t forget the EIC credit for low income parents they get what unto like 5k per kid, so pop out 8 kids thats what 40k a year for doing nothing but popping out more tax dollar supported children. If you ant afford your children put them up for adoption for one of the bazillion people who can afford the child but can’t have one.
All these welfare babies and deadbeat parents who sit back collect welfare and EIC do drugs and OD on the taxpayer dollar. If you cannot afford your children you shouldn’t be raising them… PERIOD
Big red says
Close the border and stop paying benefits to illegals and our children and veterans can live the resort life including food and medical.or we can open the border and we all become enablers for criminal and needy people breaking the bank
Please note that it was the HOUSE, which is republican-controlled, which is creating this bill and has created others that harm children too. VOTE them out.
Food stamps are almost a necessity in these days and times when it’s been more than a decade since the minimum wage was increased to $7.25 hr and costs/service prices have risen nearly 70% since then. Plus good paying jobs that afford the ability to pay the rent, buy food, gas, pay utilities, insurance, etc, are still difficult to come by. And if you get laid off, it makes it all that more difficult. Some employers even (illegally) check credit scores for those seeking employment, and don’t hire low credit score folks, which is a double speak and whammy. They are looking for a job so they can PAY their bills on time and HELP their credit score. Trump’s tax cut helped big business by letting them buy back their stock so their shareholders and CEOS will make more money, and that’s about it. The rest of us will get screwed.
anon you are behind the times. What is the new minimum wage in the state of Florida?
On January 1, 2018, Florida’s minimum wage is set to increase from $8.10 to $8.25. With this change, tipped workers must be paid $5.23 per hour and earn at least $3.02 in tip credits.