President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits. How does it make us better or stronger to turn our backs on our most vulnerable citizens? One commentator quoted in the article calls it “Robin-Hood-in-reverse” … in other words, stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
Democracy at its best is a social contract, a mutual commitment to take care of each other, to pool resources of wealth and power to ensure that we are together protected from threats, both external and internal. Internal threats include poverty, disease, injustice, exclusion. It is government’s purpose, not merely to create conditions for economic growth and “stay out of the way,” but to make sure none of us are left behind or left out.
This is not about partisanship or politics. It’s about survival … both of our most vulnerable compatriots and of our democratic ideals.