The Washington Post. "But the truth is many seniors won’t spend 'golden' retirement years like they are on a long vacation." " />
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Singletary: Trump to Struggling Seniors: You’ll Be On Your Own


"When people talk about retirement, they often muse about traveling the world, playing golf or visiting with grandchildren," writes Michelle Singletary in The Washington Post.

"But the truth is many seniors won’t spend 'golden' retirement years like they are on a long vacation. Instead they will be working because they can’t afford to retire. Or they’ll fret about finding or keeping a job to supplement their Social Security check.

"Their days won’t be spent in leisure. They’ll struggle to pay for health care costs. They’ll rely on government programs or nonprofits for meals, energy assistance or to help with legal woes.

"But President Trump’s first budget sends a stark message to the most needy seniors: 'You’re on your own.'

"Here are some of the proposed cuts that will affect seniors.

"— Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program, which 'helps a whole lot of old people pay for heat in the winter,' Slate’s Jordan Weissmann writes.

Trump’s budget guts the EPA and help for poor seniors. It’s a perfect symbol of his administration

"— The elimination of the Energy Department’s weatherization assistance program. 'It has provided states with grants that have helped insulate the homes of about 7 million families,' reported The Post’s Steven Mufson and Tracy Jan.

"If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you

"— Elimination of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides job training to low-income job seekers ages 55 and older.

“'The administration estimates that it would save $434 million by cutting the program,' reported The Post’s Jonnelle Marte. 'In the budget proposal, the administration criticized the program as ‘ineffective’ and said that one-third of the participants do not finish.' Even so, that still leaves a lot of seniors getting help.

"Labor Dept. cuts target job training programs for seniors

"— Meals on Wheels. There was some confusion about whether the funding for Meals on Wheels would be eliminated. The Community Development Block Grant program is a target for cuts and some funding for Meals on Wheels comes through this program. However a large portion of federal funds for Meals on Wheels comes through the Older Americans Act, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Community Living, according to a statement from Meals on Wheels America.

“'The Trump administration has proposed a 17.9 percent cut in funding for HHS, but it has provided no detail on whether that would also impact the Administration for Community Living, which funds nutrition programs for the elderly,' reported The Post’s Glenn Kessler wrote in fact checking the outrage about possible cuts to Meals on Wheels.

"Still, there’s reason to be concerned about cuts to the program. 'The nationwide Meals on Wheels network, comprised of 5,000, local, community-based programs, receives 35 percent of its total funding for the provision of home-delivered meals from the federal government through the Older Americans Act,' the organization said.

"— The elimination of the HHS office of community services, which includes an energy assistance program for low-income families, including seniors.

"Trump’s budget framework points to big cuts in programs for seniors

"— The elimination of Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides legal aid to low-income Americans.

"Trump budget would gut legal aid for veterans, domestic abuse victims and disaster survivors

"The American Bar Association said in a statement is was outraged about the proposed cut, writing that some of the worthy services the nonprofit provides include protecting seniors from scams.

"In a letter to Trump, Nancy LeaMond AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer wrote: 'As the budget process proceeds, we would encourage the administration to reconsider the proposed cuts to important programs, including NIH’s health care research, LIHEAP energy assistance programs, community service employment for older workers, housing and legal assistance to the poor and elderly, and transit and transportation programs serving the disabled and elderly.'"

Washington Post 3/20


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