Trump's Cuts To S.S. Disability Will Overwhelmingly Harm His Voters

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Trump is eager to cut spending on S.S. disability even though his supporters overwhelmingly depend on it.

Republicans are looking to make deep cuts to the social safety net.

In particular, Republicans are looking to make deep cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance ('SSDI'), a government program that gives millions of Americans a minimum income, including many supporters of the President.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, Trump's most passionate supporters are more likely to be negative affected by his social policies than those who do not support him. (Please think about that for a moment).

America's "Disability Belt" - an area that researchers say extends from Appalachia, down through the South, and into the Mississippi Delta - has some of the highest levels of Trump support in the United States.

Why might this be?

Psychology Today attempts to give an explanation:

According to Ciulla, drawing on Ruth Capriles book, Leadership by Resentment, poor, working-class whites have become deeply frustrated and resentful. They perceive that social programs don’t help them as much as they help (and are targeted toward), ethnic minorities. In addition, white males from this group may resent recent advancements by women and therefore turned against candidate Hillary Clinton (her calling Trump supporters “deplorables” didn’t help the situation). According to Capriles, resentment is a powerful force in those who feel disenfranchised, and fuels other acts against one’s own self-interests, including suicide bombings and shootings, and support for toxic dictators.

Now, what is the scope of Trump's cuts to SSDI and what will likely transpire due to these cuts?

According to Bloomberg’s Joshua Green, nine of the 10 counties with the highest share of working-age adults on SSDI voted for Trump, with each of those nine giving him at least 70 percent of the vote; all but one of those nine counties are in Appalachian West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky, right in the middle of the Disability Belt. An analysis by the Center for American Progress, provided to Vox, found that the SSDI receipt rate in counties Trump won was 12 percent, compared to 9 percent in counties he lost.

Trump is proposing cuts of $72.5 billion to SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), over 10 years.

President Trump would cut SSI payments for families with multiple household members with disabilities, reduce the amount of back pay insurance applicants get upon being accepted (to cover costs of living during the application process), and eliminate certain policies in some states meant to be more generous to beneficiaries. But the biggest cost saver listed, accounting for two-thirds of the cuts, is for unspecified reforms to disability programs meant to boost work.

As Vox points out, Republican programs that are purportedly intended to increase workforce participation may end up costing more than leaving benefits as they are.

In addition, trimming benefits will almost definitely harm those in need.

It would entail subsidized jobs programs, transportation funding for disabled people who can’t drive, funding for home health aides or assisted living centers, job retraining programs, and much more. Cuts accomplish nothing besides hurting SSDI beneficiaries and future applicants.

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