Make America Great (Except for Science, Arts, and Poor People)

President Trump unveiled his federal budget plans today, and HOLYCRAPWHATAREYOUTHINKING? As the Washington Post reports:

President Trump on Thursday will unveil a budget plan that calls for a sharp increase in military spending and stark cuts across much of the rest of the government including the elimination of dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor, fund scientific research and aid America’s allies abroad.

Trump’s first budget proposal, which he named “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.

It would also propose eliminating future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated.

The cuts could represent the widest swath of reductions in federal programs since the drawdown after World War II, probably leading to a sizable cutback in the federal non-military workforce, something White House officials said was one of their goals.

“President Trump’s proposed budget will have devastating consequences for our country and for Colorado. I will do my best to fight against the cuts affecting hardworking families, federal employees, businesses and research organizations.”

— Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County)

Trump probably doesn’t have the support in Congress to enact this budget proposal, which includes dramatic cuts to popular programs that nobody in their right mind would stand behind. Indeed many Congressional Republicans reacted with swift opposition. Again, from the Washington Post:

Congressional Republicans also protested cuts that might hurt their districts and states. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who had been White House budget director under President George W. Bush,  issued a statement “strongly opposing” Trump’s proposed elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Portman vowed to “fight to preserve” the program, which he said had been “an invaluable resource” to Ohio by generating more than $80 billion in benefits in health, tourism and recreation. [Pols emphasis]

Yeah. Good luck finding a lot of Members of Congress who are willing to look the other way while popular local initiatives get whacked. The attack ads for someone like Sen. Portman virtually write themselves (here’s an outline of the specific programs that would be all but eliminated under Trump’s proposal). In fact, congress may be protecting Trump from himself by opposing this plan; as Politico explains, the result of Trump’s budget proposal would be a devastating blow to a good number of Trump voters:

But while Trump’s first stab at budget politics has some eye-popping cuts, if passed it would also hurt many of the voters who supported him as a result of its slashing of after-school programs, job training and disease-fighting research — a line item that both Republicans and Democrats tend to support.

Unless the Department of Defense is ready with an advanced new weapon that can blow up cancer and keep kids from getting in trouble after school, Trump’s $54 billion in extra defense spending isn’t going to mean squat for most Americans.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Buy 15 or 20 fewer copies of the "flying turkey" known as the F-35 fighter plane and one could fund a lot of the humanities stuff. 

    Otherwise, despite the comment from Dick Cheney back in the 2000s, deficits do matter. And so does $19 trillion in debt. 

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      We've got to cut something, and I don't want to see our defenses compromise. Hard power prevents terror.

      • unnamed says:

        So does intelligence gathering Moldy.   If you had any intelligence you'd know that.

      • unnamed says:

        And while you were writing your insipid posts, our Senior Senator Michael Bennet was holding a town hall in Colorado Springs.  While your other buddy is harder to find than Waldo.

      • unnamed says:

        I was thinking we could cut the funding for Biff's sojurns to Mar-a-Lago.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        Bragging about "hard power" is the only way those terms can have any connection to Moldy's sad, weak, flippity-floppity existence. 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Moderatus says: "Hard power prevents terror."

        So, all that "hard power" being exercised in Iraq and Afghanistan has prevented terror? All the "hard power" used in Vietnam prevented terror?

        The more powerful explanation I've seen is that hard power's influence is more like squeezing Play-Doh. It makes an impression only where the power is applied, and spreads things out. After power is withdrawn, things can return to a similar shape as before. Maybe that helps explain a growth of terror incidents outside the immediate war zone. And our intervention in the government of Iran with veiled hard power in 1953-54 and our efforts to prop up the Shah afterwards resonated — and pretty clearly led to the 1979-80 Revolution there.

         

      • spaceman65 says:

        Hard power prevents terror?  Bullshit.  Good police work and intelligence prevents terror.  As for cutting something, how about the disastrous F-35 or plans for new and increasingly vulnerable aircraft carriers.  

  2. Curmudgeon says:

    Trump needs to keep people uneducated.  

    Stupid voters are how he got elected in the first place, and he has to protect that demographic. 

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Gee, think there might be some fat in the DoD budget?

    THE U.S. GOVERNMENT already spends $600 billion dollars a year on its military — more money than the next seven biggest spenders combined, including China and Russia.

    On Monday, the White House said it would request $54 billion more in military spending for next year. That increase alone is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country, and it’s more than 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget in 2015.

    If Congress were to follow Trump’s blueprint, the U.S. military budget could account for nearly 40 percent of global military spending next year. The U.S. would be outspending Russia by a margin of greater than 9 to 1.

    Screen-Shot-2017-02-27-at-5.12.20-PM-1488233648

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Russia doesn't need obsolete tanks.  They are spending their funds on cyber-warfare and getting great results.  

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      "already spends $600 billion dollars a year on its military……." Trump proposes an increase to $639 billion.

      Then there is the off-budget slush fund of $65 billion for the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I firmly believe that the VA budget; proposed to be $78+ billion; should be part of the overall Pentagon budget since it's medical care for military veterans.

      Total military budget then becomes $782 billion. I'm hopeful that Moderatus, Andrew or Pear/Prune can come up with a logical reason why the country needs to spend so much on defense. Oh, and I left out the billions in the Department of Energy for maintaining the nuclear arsenal. My bad. 

  4. DavieDavie says:

    With Trump and the Republicans getting ready to weaken our citizens with crippling cuts in health care, medical research, clean air, water and land programs, food programs, etc.  Russia can well afford to reduce their defense spending since we seem to be able to kill our own future without their help:

    The Russian government has decided to cut defence spending by 1,000 billion rubles ($15.89 billion), or approximately 30 percent, the draft federal budget indicates. The figures became apparent from the draft budget the government submitted to the State Duma at the end of October, the business daily Kommersant reported.

    Expenditure on national defence is envisaged at 2,840 billion rubles ($45.15 billion), or 3.3 percent of GDP in the federal budget for 2017.

  5. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Piss Trump.

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