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  @byHeatherLong

 

Krista Shockey voted for President Trump in November. Now she’s one of the people who might get hurt under his plan to cut safety net programs for the poor and disabled.

 

Shockey is on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program to help low-income Americans who are disabled. The monthly payment is just over $700 a month.

 “It’s my only income,” Shockey told CNNMoney in the fall, when we first met her at Diner 23 in Waverly, a small town in southern Ohio that’s seen better days. “I couldn’t live” without it.
She was stunned to hear the president wants to downsize SSI. She hadn’t heard about it until CNNMoney called her.

When releasing Trump’s budget Tuesday, the White House hailed it as a “taxpayer first” plan. Trump’s goal is to get millions of people off welfare and into full-time jobs. For Shockey, that won’t be easy.

“There’s no way I could go back to work,” Shockey said this week. “I’ve got a lot of problems. I’m crippled in my feet, knees, back, hands.”

Trump has proposed dramatic decreases in funding for food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, student loans, welfare (known as TANF) and disability programs like SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

“Honestly, I haven’t been following much (news). I’ve got so much going on with my family. My mother died,” she said.

CNNMoney reached out to about a dozen Trump voters who either rely on government aid to live or who work closely with the poor. Most were surprised.

Related: Trump’s first budget: Trillions in cuts

 

                              Surprise at Trump’s proposed cuts

 

For instance, America’s “poorest white town” — Beattyville, Kentucky — voted overwhelmingly for Trump. Any cuts to the safety net would be felt acutely by its residents: 57% of households in Beattyville receive food stamps and 58% get disability payments from the government.

“I am still happy with President Trump,” says Barbara Puckett, who lives in Beattyville and has been on Social Security disability since the late 1990s because of sclerosis. But she says she would worry if the budget becomes law and she loses her benefit.

For now Trump’s budget is just a proposal and Puckett’s benefits are still the same.

William Owens is a pastor in Beattyville. He’s the type of person who pitches in wherever he’s needed. In addition to leading a church and youth center, he’s also a volunteer fire chief and chairman of the local school board.

Owens, a Trump supporter, said the president just wants the states and local governments to have more control over how welfare money is spent.

Related: Trump’s budget: Big gifts for the rich, big cuts for the poor

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