It Would Be Impossible for Churches to Make Up Lost Assistance in Trump’s Budget

Commentary

During the election campaign, many Christian leaders together asked the presidential candidates to tell us what they would do to provide help and opportunity to hungry and poor people. Donald Trump wrote to us on Sept. 28. You can find his letter on circleofprotection.us. Candidate Trump expressed concern about poverty in America and around the world. He said nothing about deep cuts in the programs that help people in poverty.

But President Trump’s budget would extract $2.5 trillion from people of limited means. If churches would try to make up for this lost assistance, every church in the country would have to raise and give away an additional $714,000 a year for the next 10 years. This is impossible.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on health care next week, and the Senate bill is likely to cut a trillion dollars from Medicaid. They want the money for other things, but this cut, if approved, would increase the rates of disease, disability, and death in our communities.

The core experience of Christianity is God’s love for all people, so many Christians feel moved to urge their members of Congress to say no to these cuts. The leaders who have signed this statement pledge ourselves to urge our members and churches to get involved in advocacy.

And we are praying. Some of us and thousands of people across the country are fasting today and on the 21st day of each month to intensify our prayer. We pray that our loving God will come to the aid of our troubled nation and world and especially that Almighty God will defend all the people who struggle with hunger and poverty in our country and around the world.

David Beckman is president of Bread for the World.

 

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