Government Cutbacks to Hurt Rust Belt, Less Educated


Budget Proposal Shows Large Reductions in Aid Programs

The Rust Belt and the less-educated to suffer as a result of government cutbacks to Social Security and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to a study conducted for The Atlantic.

In the five Rust Belt states that flipped from Barack Obama to Donald Trump in the most recent presidential election, whites without a four-year college degree constitute most of those receiving assistance from SNAP, Social Security’s disability program, and Social Security Supplemental Security Income Program.

This constituency represents a large share of Republican voters who helped carry the election and stand to lose many of the benefits they currently receive. Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin all went for Trump this election cycle, switching from Obama in 2012.

Among the largest cuts is the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps. SNAP will be cut by around $193.0 billion, or 25% of its current funding, over the next 10 years. The cuts will be made by imposing additional work requirements and making the eligibility criteria more difficult to pass.


Currently, SNAP serves about 42 million people who are food insecure.

Another note of interest in the demographics of those affected by cutbacks is who it does not target. Specifically, Medicare and the principal Social Security retirement program were both left untouched by any cuts.

This plays into satisfying parts of the electorate who often vote Republican, namely seniors.

Beyond the less-educated and lower-income people being left behind by the government cutbacks, many domestic discretionary-spending programs that invest in future generations have also been largely reduced. These include programs that involve education, scientific research, student loans, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Many voters who went for Trump in this past election avail themselves of the programs that are now being cut, including the SNAP food stamps service and the Social Security Supplemental Security Income Program.

The budget is now being reviewed by Congress, which will have the ultimate decision of what to put in, what to remove, and most importantly, where to make cuts and expand spending.

As it stands now, the proposal is more a guide than anything else, but members of the president’s party could hew to the proposed government cutbacks that would see a drastic reduction in many aid programs targeted at helping lower-income Americans.


Trump’s Cuts to SNAP and Social Security Would Hit the Rust Belt Hard,” The Atlantic, May 23, 2017.

Trump’s Food Stamp, SNAP, Cuts Are Just Reversing The Keynesian Ratchet – So What’s The Problem?,” Forbes, May 22, 2017.