Letters to the Editor

Pierce letter: Safety-net programs

The tax bill recently passed by Congress, and signed by the president, is projected to add at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Congress didn’t include a way to pay for the tax cuts, and it’s likely this year they’ll make deep cuts to vital safety-net programs, such as the food stamp program (SNAP) and Medicaid. It’s clear who will benefit from the new tax plan: the rich. What we’re hearing less about is who will pay the consequences — hardworking, low-income Idahoans and Americans. I urge Senators Crapo and Risch, Congressmen Labrador and Simpson to protect and strengthen programs that connect individuals and families with the anti-poverty and anti-hunger programs they need to thrive. This year we’ve already seen attempts to gut essential programs like Medicaid and SNAP. So after giving away $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to millionaires, those same critical programs will likely wind up back on the chopping block. This is both bad public policy and just plain wrong. We need to make it clear to Congress that we won’t stand for any attempt to unravel anti-poverty and anti-hunger programs that place Idahoans, children and Americans at risk.

Dawn Pierce, Boise