Senators slam Trump for hurting Americans with disabilities


The Special Olympics cuts were just 'the tip of the iceberg' of how Trump's budget would hurt people with disabilities.

Americans were outraged to hear that Trump had proposed eliminating federal funding for the Special Olympics — which is why Trump quickly tried to claim that he had "overruled" his own cruel idea and that the event would be funded after all.

But as two senators pointed out Wednesday, the Special Olympics funding cut wasn't the only proposal in Trump's budget that directly targets Americans with disabilities. In fact, the senators said, the Special Olympics cut was just "the tip of the iceberg" of Trump's determination to slash funds that help people with disabilities.

"The systematic targeting of people with disabilities, their families and those who serve them shows a moral recklessness not worthy of our government," Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA) said in a letter addressed to Mick Mulvaney, Trump's director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

"Whether in housing, education, employment, aging, health care, civil rights, transportation, research or any of the other governmental functions that assist people with disabilities and their families, this budget strips the resources that make access and opportunity possible," the senators wrote, adding that the Trump budget "actively inhibits" the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The letter lists more than a dozen programs and organizations that Trump's budget would cut — like the Traumatic Brain Injury program, the Alzheimer’s Disease program, the Office of Disability Employment Policy, and Gallaudet University for the deaf. The budget also seeks to cut disability research and funds for HUD's Section 811 program, which subsidizes housing for people with disabilities.

Additionally, the Trump budget seeks to cut $10 billion in Social Security Disability Insurance, and cut $1.5 trillion from Medicaid over a ten-year period.

"The proposed cuts to Medicaid are an abomination and insult to American values," Casey and Brown said. Those cuts, they said, would break a "contract with Americans and leave hundreds of thousands of children, older adults, and people with disabilities without the health care and long-term services and supports they need to be part of our society."

The budget reflects Trump and the Republican Party's core goals of attacking ordinary Americans and their families, especially those who are most vulnerable, while rewarding corrupt insiders, the ultra-wealthy, and giant corporations.

During his presidential campaign, Trump himself infamously mocked the disability of one reporter. As cruel as that behavior was, however, his budget is packed with even more cruelty.

For Trump and Republicans, the cruelty is the point. And attacking Americans with disabilities demonstrates the depths of that depravity.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.