What would happen in Shelby County if the Trump budget were enacted?
by Jon W. Sparks
There’s been no end of discussion about significant changes in federal spending lately, but the whirlwind of words and figures have not yielded a clear sense of the consequences the 2018 budget proposed by the Trump Administration would have at the local level. How would Shelby County fare if and when funding is cut for widely used public programs?
An analysis by Dr. John Gnuschke, director of the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Memphis, and Dr. Jeff Wallace, associate research professor, provides an estimate of the economic impact our community would feel if the Trump administration’s budget proposals were to be enacted.
The blueprint for federal spending, which Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget has called the “America First” budget, was made public in May. It proposes to balance the budget in 10 years with $3.6 trillion in cuts in social safety net programs, many of which are administered by the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Education.
Those programs, Mulvaney says, discourage work and hinder economic growth. Opponents say the proposed tax cuts for wealthier Americans effectively take away from the poor, particularly the most vulnerable in the lowest quintile (20 percent of households in terms of household income), which in Tennessee is $18,440, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In Memphis, it’s about $15,000.
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