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I am deeply grateful for the ambition of Nancy Dowd’s book, Reimagining Equality. Professor Dowd offers a powerful and essential vision for addressing the entrenched inequalities that pervade our society. And she is unapologetic about the breadth and depth of change needed to achieve this vision. I do not want to distract from her inspiring call for a New Deal for Children by introducing questions about political feasibility, but thinking about what is possible in the here and now is a useful place to begin the conversation about systemic change.

So, what is possible in this era of Trump? Not much. Let’s not forget that the Trump Administration is cutting back, every way possible, on state support for families. Consider the invitation from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to states, authorizing work requirements for recipients of Medicaid. This policy may play well politically, but it does not accord with the reality facing many low-income families. Or the Trump Administration’s proposal to alter the eligibility rules for SNAP benefits, arguing that SNAP and similar programs are supposed to be “A Second Chance, Not A Way of Life.” Or consider the Administration’s redefinition of the “public charge” element in immigration law, which makes it harder for many noncitizens who receive public benefits, including Medicaid and SNAP, to receive a green card. In short, the policies of this administration could not be further from a New Deal for Children.


Early Childhood Education | Family Law | Law