If you benefit from Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare or other federally funded programs that make up our social safety net, your U.S. senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, just sold you out.

In recent days, the U.S. Senate voted to give a whole lot of money to the wealthiest Americans and to American corporations. All the Senate’s Democrats voted against this measure. Aside from U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who is retiring, all the Senate’s Republicans voted to pass it.

Senate Republicans claim that the tax cuts they passed will pay for themselves. But the nonpartisan analysis of Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, which many economists regard as optimistic, still projects the cuts to leave a $1 trillion hole in the U.S. budget.

BC-AP News Digest 6:30 pm

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by, Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon, left, and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., speaks to a group of small business owners as Republicans work to pass their sweeping tax bill, a blend of generous tax cuts for businesses and more modest tax cuts for families and individuals, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. It would mark the first time in 31 years that Congress has overhauled the tax code, making it the biggest legislative achievement of President Donald Trump's first year in office. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

So where will this $1 trillion come from?

Some of it will be borrowed, increasing the national debt. As to the rest, as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio recently said, the plan is to cut spending by instituting “structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

So if, in the coming years, you see your Social Security checks or those of people you love shrinking, remember: Cassidy and Kennedy thought rich people should have that money instead.

If you find that Medicare covers fewer of the procedures that your doctor recommends, or that your doctor is reluctant to accept Medicare patients because reimbursement rates have declined, remember: Cassidy and Kennedy thought rich people should have that money instead.

If you see members of your community, your friends, or your own family struggling to feed their children on stingier food assistance, remember: Cassidy and Kennedy thought rich people should have that money instead.

So when poor people struggle more, when Social Security payments for your retirement are tighter than you expected, when Medicare coverage declines, remember that these things didn’t happen because the money simply isn’t there, but because Cassidy and Kennedy chose to give it to rich people.

Then tell your friends so that they remember it, too.

Letters: Tax plan harms future generations

When the time comes to defend cuts to programs that benefit us all, Cassidy and Kennedy hope we will forget where that money has gone, and who took it away. Our senators will argue that these cuts are necessary because the money isn’t there to pay for those programs. But the money was there, and Senate Republicans — our senators, Cassidy and Kennedy — gave it to rich people instead.

Don’t forget, don’t let your friends forget, and don’t let Cassidy and Kennedy forget that you remember. They’re easy to get a hold of: the Senate switchboard is (202) 224-3121.

Daniel Mintz

college professor

New Orleans