Every day of the year, National Priorities Project works to share stories of how the federal budget affects the lives of Americans, and illustrate how choices about federal funding have a very tangible impact. But we don't often pause to share our own experiences with federal programs. In the spirit of the holidays, NPP staff took some time this week to give our own personal thanks to the federal budget.
Here's what some of our staff had to share:
This season, I am thankful for Social Security because it provides Americans with a critical source of income at a time when they need it most -- whether they have lost income due to retirement, disability, or the death of a loved one. I find comfort in knowing it will be there for me when I need it and am proud to pay into the program and know that I am earning my benefits.
I'm thankful that the federal government invests in National Parks as way to preserve the country's beautiful natural resources. I've explored these parks alone, with friends, and with family, and each time I am newly grateful to those who had the foresight to set aside these lands for all to enjoy.
I am thankful that my son, his wife, and my new grandbaby have affordable health care.
I don't think about it often enough, but I am ridiculously grateful for the Food and Drug Administration. All I have to do is think back to the story from a few years ago about deaths from melamine tainted baby formula in China, or the fact that prior to the modern FDA, people in the U.S. died slowly after using a drug that contained radium, and I am floored by how safe our food and drug supply is today in this country. If somebody sells tainted peanut butter in the U.S., you can bet it will be recalled. I'm so lucky to live, and raise my daughter, in one of the countries where the food and medicine won't poison you. A safe food supply doesn't just happen by itself.
As a child I wouldn’t have eaten as well as I did if it weren’t for SNAP. So, I’m thankful that SNAP continues to feed kids across our country.
I'm thankful for the federal environmental regulations that keep our air, soil, and water clean. I know I am lucky to live in a country where I can drink the tap water wherever I want, where I am spared choking smog, and where there are federal laws to protect our lands from being filled with pollution and trash.
What are YOU thankful for? Tell us in the comments or share your federal budget story here.