Benefits / Tax Cuts
This is a collaborative knowledge base; feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.
How You Can Resist
- Call your Senator and US Representative by dialing tel:844-6-RESIST and tell them to vote against proposed actions that cut taxes for the highest earners.
- Find out when your Senators and US Representative are holding town halls and other Upcoming Events/Opportunities. Show up and tell them not to cut taxes for the highest earners.
- Click here to find an organization looking for volunteers.
Food Stamps (SNAP)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps people buy healthy food. The majority of recipients are children or elderly with many working. In a 2012 report, 45 percent of SNAP recipients were under 18 years of age and nearly 9 percent were age 60 or older. More than 40 percent of recipients lived in a household with earnings. SNAP has been essential in preventing families from falling into poverty. In 2011, SNAP was shown to lift 4.7 million households out of poverty. Without the program, the child poverty rate would be almost 3 percentage points higher. During economic downturns SNAP can respond to meet the increased need. As the first recession was hitting its stride, SNAP was able to efficiently expand and serve families hit the hardest by the recession after effects like job losses and foreclosures. And then as the economy improves, the program contracts accordingly. Poverty increased during the recession, but food insecurity remained flat due in large part to SNAP's role in helping keep food on the table for families that needed it most. SNAP benefits the economy, and USDA research shows that for every $5 in new SNAP benefits, $9 of economic activity is generated. The food that families purchase with their benefits to meet their needs helps keep local businesses making money.
The largest group that received SNAP benefits according to 2013 data was white. The breakdown according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients are white, 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American.
The number of households and individuals that received benefits on an average month had fallen from 2013 to 2014: 23 million to 22 million households and 47 million to 46 million individuals. And the average monthly benefit per household dropped from $274 in 2013 to $256 last year.
Three quarters of the 22 million households that received SNAP benefits in 2014 included a child, an elderly person or someone with a disability.
Almost one-third of SNAP beneficiaries lived in a household where at least one member had some earned income in 2013. While the upper income limit can vary with eligibility rules from state to state, the federal law puts the limit at 200 percent of the poverty line, currently $20,090 for a family of three. Many SNAP recipients qualify based on their participation in another means-tested program, such as Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
For more information about eligibility and applying for the program, please follow the link.
- Trump has shown that he will act against key protections for Americans like SNAP with comments that the program "shouldn't be needed often", and that "when half of food-stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of if has to do with fraud."
- Cuts to SNAP would be immediately damaging. The House version of the Farm Bill would cause 2 million Americans to lose their benefits entirely, 210,000 children to lose access to free meals at school, and 850,000 households to see their benefits cut by an average of $90 per month.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
For more information on program requirements and how to determine eligibility, please follow the link.
Effects of the Trump Administration on WIC
- The Trump administration's new budget plans to reduce the budget of WIC by $200 million.
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.
For more information about eligibility and applying for CHIP, please follow the link.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program assists low-income families with their home heating and cooling energy costs: bill payments, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related repairs.
For more information about eligibility and applying for LIHEAP, please follow the link for more information.
Effects of the Trump Administration on LIHEAP
- The entire program would be removed with no replacement. 7.4 million US households received assistance money from LIHEAP with a heavy portion located in Midwestern states that had voted Trump in the 2016 election.
Trump / GOP Healthcare Bill
- Repealing the ACA would give taxpayers earning $200,000 or more per year ($250,000 for couples) a massive tax break, while reducing incomes for the lowest 60% of income earners who would lose tax subsidies for insurance premiums. 
- The plan offers tax breaks to insurance companies that pay their CEOs more than $500,000 per year, incentivizing companies to overpay their top executives. 
- The plan will eliminate the net investment tax, a 3.8 percent surcharge on almost all earnings from investments. This tax is only paid by single people with incomes above $200,000 and married couples earning more than $250,000. 90 percent of NIIT comes from the top 1 percent, so the elimination would boost after-tax incomes of the top 0.1 percent by 2.2 percent or an average of $165,000 a year.
- Eliminating the 0.9 percent surcharge on the Medicare taxes imposed on high-income earners — people making more than $200,000 a year and married couples filing joint returns who earn more than $250,000 a year.
Who is Harmed
- Repeals tax credits for low-wage small employers starting in 2020.
- The tax credit for people buying insurance privately will become age based (rather than income-based) and will be reduced by $100 for every $1,000 more someone earns above $75,000. These tax credits cannot be used to purchase a health care plan that covers abortion services. . The tax credits also don't change if you live in a place with higher health care costs.. The tax credits also don't change as health care costs increase.
- Married Taxpayers are only eligible for tax credits to help pay for health insurance coverage if they file a joint tax return. This will harm married women in unsafe or difficult situations; By requiring married couples to file joint returns, the bill ignores very significant situations where filing jointly may not be possible or safe: including physical or mental abuse, pending divorce, or when one spouse is incarcerated.
- The "Joint Filing Requirement" would require sharing of information between a survivor and her abusive spouse. This may reveal sensitive information like a new physical address, phone number, employer and bank account. In the case of an abandoned spouse, there is no husband for the purposes of tax filing. With this repeal bill, women in these two scenarios would not be eligible for tax credits to purchase health insurance.
Trump's Tax Reform Plan
The people who will receive a tax cut under Trump's tax plan are disproportionately wealthy:
- Top .1% will receive a tax cut of $1.3 million
- Top 1% will receive a tax cut of $214,000
- Top 20% will receive a tax cut of $16,660
Who Is Harmed
- People who will receive a tax increase under Trump's plan are disproportionately people of color and single-parent households:
- 51% of single parent households
- 8% of married households filing jointly
- 32% of black households
- 24% of Hispanic or Latino households
- 19% of white non-Hispanic households
- Trump's tax plan would cut discretionary spending - where most programs for poor families come from - from 6.3 percent of the economy now to 5.3 percent in 2027 (the smallest level since 1962).
- Trump's plan to repeal the inheritance tax would make wealth inequality worse in America.
Vulnerabilities in Their Strategy
- On average, states with Republican leadership are more dependent on the federal government for funds than are Democratic states.