Report: Federal Cuts Could Hurt Vulnerable Michiganders

Used with permission of subscription-only MIRS

MIRS April 10, 2012

Report: Federal Cuts Could Hurt Vulnerable Michiganders

Whether from automatic spending cuts triggered by the failure of the
federal debt Super Committee or from cuts under the “Ryan plan,”
seniors, children and the poor in Michigan stand to suffer, according
to a Michigan League for Human Services (MLHS)-released report.

The report also released today by the Washington D.C.-based Coalition
on Human Needs, details the impact from automatic cuts proposed by the
Budget Control Act last summer after the national debt Super Committee
failed to reach consensus.

While the automatic cuts would hurt, additional cuts in the
House-passed budget known as the Ryan plan would be “far worse,”
according to the report.

The report, titled “Helping the People of Michigan During Tight Budget
Times,” also compares the impact of the proposed cuts with the budget
proposed by President Barack OBAMA.

In one section, the report compares the number of food stamp,
education, and higher education programs that would be cut or
eliminated with what could happen if instead the “Buffet rule” is
enacted to require millionaires to pay at least 30 percent of their
income in taxes. Enacting the Buffet rule would save those programs
from being cut and leave $8 billion for deficit reduction, according
to the report.

Obama lauded the proposed Buffet rule to the nation today (See related story).

The report also compares budget choices like eliminating Medicaid
coverage for 434,000 low-income people or closing the “carried
interest” loophole for hedge fund managers.

“Making the necessary investments to ensure that all Michigan families
have the resources they need to thrive and contribute to the state’s
economy requires thoughtful choices about our long-term fiscal
health,” said MLHS President & CEO Gilda Z. JACOBS. “Unfortunately,
many of the options before Congress threaten serious cuts in vital
human needs programs that would undermine both our fragile recovery
and our future growth.”

If automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act go into effect,
in 2013 alone, Michigan would receive $20.9 million less for Head
Start; $5.5 million less for early care and education; $42.1 million
less for K-12 education; $31.2 million less for special education; and
$8.8 million less for vocational rehabilitation, according to the
report.

Jacobs said that starting in 2014, cuts would be significantly deeper.