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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/26/17

Trump's Nightmare Budget

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EVERYBODY, I mean EVERYBODY is now hollering about President Donald J. Trump's budget proposal. I say "proposal" because Congress by the law and United States Constitution still has the "power of the purse" and can roll back many of the odious parts of the proposal. At the very core of Trump's grandiloquently named "America First: A Budget Blueprint To Make America Great Again," is his belief that jacking up military spending by $54 billion is going to "make America great" as if ONLY military spending was going to grow the economy. But the cuts also reveal an attempt to realize an old Republican goal -- a smaller federal government. Trump plan would drastically cut the federal government down by eliminating agencies, services, and programs that he sees as useless, and shift the burden and to pick up the slack on to state governments.

Indeed, his budget proposal, such as it is, calls for draconian cuts to 18 agencies that Trump sees as either not important or unnecessary to his "America remake" plans. Driven by his own nativist brand of populism that relies on a narrow, myopic inward looking meme, Trump's budget is an American nightmare in the making that is designed to "make America suffer again." And the funny thing is that if his budget is enacted as is the people who would be hurt the most are Trump voters and supporters suddenly waking up to the reality of so-called "Obamacare" and its benefits and "their party's" efforts to replace it with a "hideous something else."

Trump's plan would eliminate long-standing federal programs that help the poor, fund scientific research, and promote America's "soft power" abroad. Some agencies would be hit particularly hard, with sharp reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments, and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency that some Republicans, including the president, vowed to eliminate all together.

The budget proposal also proposed eliminating future federal government 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 cut by Trump's knife.

According to historical budget records these cuts represents the widest swath of reductions in federal programs since World War II. Economists say that they could lead to a sizable cutback in the federal non-military workforce; something White House officials said was one of their goals. Virtually every agency will see some sort of cut, with only Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs getting a boost. Still, Congress will have the final say, and some lawmakers have already expressed opposition and concern to many of the proposals.

Here's a breakdown of Trump's nightmare budget proposal:

Proposed Department Cuts

Health and Human Services, the department responsible for implementing Obamacare and its proposed repeal, would face a $12.6 billion cut -- a 16.2% decrease

Environmental Protection Agency: $2.6 billion, or 31.4%

State Department: $11 billion, or 28.7%

Labor Department: $2.5 billion, or 20.7%

Agriculture Department: $5 billion, or 20.7%

US Army Corps of Engineers: $1 billion, a 16.3% cut

Cuts National Institutes of Health spending by $5.8 billion, a nearly 20% cut. Also overhauls NIH to focus on "highest priority" efforts and eliminates the Fogarty International Center.

Other double-digit cuts include Commerce at 15.7%; Education at 13.5%; Housing and Urban Development at 13.2%; Transportation at 12.7%, and Interior at 11.7%.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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