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Northwestern professors available on proposed Trump budget cuts to safety net programs, arts and culture

  • Created: February 12, 2020

EVANSTON, Ill. --- President Trump released his proposed $4.8 trillion budget for 2021 that would slash safety net programs, including food stamps and Medicaid, and eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 

Northwestern University professors from the School of Communication, School of Education and Social Policy and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences are available to comment on the budget.

Jennifer Novak-Leonard is a leading arts researcher with recent research examining how the public values the arts. A 2017 survey conducted by Novak-Leonard following Trump’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for the NEA, NEH, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting found strong opposition to Trump’s proposal among survey respondents.

Quote from Novak-Leonard
“Our national survey results show that the majority of the American public disagrees with the White House’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for arts and culture. In 2017, 63% of adults opposed a similar proposal to eliminate federal funding for arts and culture. Additional results show positive public opinion of artists and their work with their local communities.”

Diane Schanzenbach is director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health and income support policies.

Schanzbach’s research, the only long-term causal study on SNAP access, found that those with access to SNAP benefits as children were more likely to graduate from high school and grew up to be healthier. Women in particular were more economically self-sufficient as adults due to childhood access.

Matthew Notowidigdo, a professor of economics at Weinberg, can discuss health care-related proposals in the federal budget. He studies a broad set of topics in labor and health economics. Notowidigdo’s research in health economics focuses on the effects of public health insurance on labor supply, the effects of health on the marginal utility of consumption and the effects of income on health spending.