Donald Trump (aka President Big Fat Liar) has released his budget proposal, outlining his priorities to Congress and the American people and by most accounts it’s so awful it’s a complete non-starter. Still it’s a great opportunity to highlight exactly how Trump intends to screw almost everyone over with his “America First” budget that actually puts America near the back of the pack in so many areas.
Trump campaigned on the premise of “Making America Great Again,” promising to (among other things) improve on health care, increase and protect jobs, build a wall between the US and Mexico and make America’s military stronger than ever. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that his budget proposes to live up to some of those ideals. But in even bigger ways, this budget proposal has great potential, if passed, to do the very opposite. Let’s take a look….
The Trump budget first and foremost slashes established government agencies and their programs with reckless abandon, ostensibly to make government more efficient, more responsible to tax payers. In reality though these cuts demolish social programs that millions of Americans depend on. Programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which helps fund state supported before and after school programs and summer school which help parents get to work on time and stay at work as well as helping kids stay focused and productive. Or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program which helps the elderly on fixed incomes keep their homes heated and their lights from getting shut off. Or the Legal Services Corp, an organization that provides free legal advice to the poor, guaranteeing all have access to constitutionally protected rights to legal counsel.
These are just a small sampling of the kinds of cuts Trump thinks we should make. But I’m at a loss to see how these types of changes help make America great. Less help for lower income earners doesn’t make us stronger or great, it creates an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, devastates the middle class, and exacerbates social divisions- none of which is great for America. But that’s just the beginning. The Trump budget slashes research in science and medicine, cuts regulatory agency budgets for things that keep us safe from the abuses of capitalism- things like food inspections, housing safety regulations, environmental protections like clean water and air and polluted lands- things that make Americans safer at home and put us in a position of leadership internationally.
In all he proposes cutting governmental department budgets BIGLY:
NASA would see the smallest cut of about 1%.
The Dept. of Energy gets cut 5.6%.
The Dept. of the Interior loses 12%.
The Dept. of Education gets cut 13%.
The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development loses 13.2%.
The Dept. of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Health each get cut by 18%.
The Labor Dept. and the Dept. of Agriculture lose 21% each.
The State Dept. gets slashed by 28%.
And the biggest loser in the Trump budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, will see a 31% decrease in funding.
All of these agencies are tasked with directly helping people, protecting our natural resources, working with allies across the globe, or advancing scientific knowledge and the arts. These cuts will result in direct job losses in the thousands at least, and will put millions at risk of losing their jobs through related industries. Exactly the opposite of what he promised he would do. And they will degrade our potential to lead the world in science, medicine, arts, freedom and equality.
That’s right folks, Mexico isn’t paying for the wall. US taxpayers are. At the expense of nearly everything else we depend on, pay taxes for, and that actually help our people and country grow and stay safe. And our defense budget, already the highest in the world by far, isn’t even something that needs to grow, unless he’s planning some more GOP warmongering abroad. But this is what he promised and this is what Trump voters will have to defend as we all deal with the fallout.
Is this what Trump voters hoped for? Is this how we make America great again?
Let’s not forget too that Trump has also promised to slash taxes on corporations and the super rich as well as come up with a trillion dollars to repair infrastructure- both things not accounted for in this budget sham.
At RedBluePurple we are all for fiscal common sense, for honest evaluation of programs and their effectiveness, and for the wise use of tax revenue. We are not against making changes where they need to be made. But we are not on board with wholesale ideological budget slashing, which is what the Trump budget is really all about.
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