Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Via The Week, we can check out the details, and priorities, of the Trump budget proposal below. 

  • * Spend $716 billion this year on the military
  • * Spend $18 billion over two years to build a border wall
  • * Cut $554 billion from Medicare over 10 years
  • * Cut $250 billion from Medicaid over 10 years
  • * Cut $214 billion from food stamps over 10 years
  • * Cut the EPA's budget by 34 percent
  • * Cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development budget by 14 percent, including eliminating the fund that pays for capital repairs to public housing
  • * Eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides funding to PBS and NPR (there goes Big Bird and Miss Piggy).
  • * Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • * Eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal help to poor Americans
  • * Eliminate the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which ensures that poor Americans don't freeze to death in the winter
  • * Cut funding for Amtrak in half
  • * Eliminate ARPA-E, which does cutting-edge research on energy technology

So, why don't we just call Trump's budget proposal, "The Return to Feudalism" budget? Seriously, since the British (1688), American (1776), and French (1789) revolutions the primary responsibility of the modern state has been to create a path of opportunity and access. Leveling the playing field for those without access, historically, is the logic behind public education, public parks, public libraries, public roads (over tolls), public health, etc.

Trump's budget, however, neuters public institutions, and pretty much trusts the rich to do the right thing, while piling more debt on to the "peasants"? 

Here's a nice little nugget in the budget. The Trump administration wants to get rid of food stamps (where consumers at least have a modicum of choice) and replace them with food boxes. If the Reagan administration's debacle with school lunches, when they tried to categorize ketchup as a vegetable, is an example of what's in store, Trump's food boxes are going to be colossal disaster (but, no doubt, a financial bonanza for a Trump crony). 

Sigh ... 

- Mark

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