The details of President Donald Trump’s budget have been released and it is a disaster for the American people. Cuts which Trump advocates for are both wide and deep in a document called, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”
Apparently, Trump believes the way to make America great again is to punish researchers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is having its budget cut by 20% to the tune of $6 billion.
That is money which could have been used to help find a cure for cancer, or provide funding to prevent degenerative diseases among a litany of other possibilities. This matters not to Trump, nor the Republican party, as they’re simultaneously planning to repeal The Affordable Care Act to remove medical insurance from over 23 million Americans. The NIH’s impending budget cuts will impact more than 300,000 researchers who receive more than 80% of the NIH’s funding.
In one of the most despicable cuts endorsed by Trump the budget calls for the Agriculture Department‘s budget to be cut by 21% for a total of $4.7 billion. Those cuts impact the Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance program by removing $200 million from the previous $6.4 billion budget. That literally means there will be $200 million fewer dollars to provide food to starving children. How patriotic of Trump and his Republican subordinates.
The Water and Wastewater loan and grant program‘s budget of $500 million will be completely eliminated. The program provides funding to create “clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.” Once again the true colors of the Republican party shine through as they seek to limit individuals from having access to clean water.
Trump and Republicans have long criticized the Department of Education to be a broken system. In an effort to correct the problems they are calling for $9.2 billion in cuts, which will reduce the overall budget by 21%. In those cuts $3.7 billion will be removed from grants which allow teachers access to training programs, along with providing funding for students to participate in after-school and summer programs. The remaining funds will be diverted to charter school and voucher schemes, at the expense of public schools.
The Department of Homeland Security is having its budget increased by $2.7 billion but is simultaneously cutting $667 million from programs that issue grants to state and local law enforcement. Nearly all of Homeland Security’s budget increase will go towards building Trump’s idiotic border wall, partly paid for by cuts to counterterrorism preparedness funding. The nonsensical nature of this debacle leaves one breathless when they consider the contradictions in philosophy. Trump claimed he would best be suited to defend the nation and in his first budget, he is cutting funding for counterterrorism preparedness.
After refusing to release his tax returns for public scrutiny, Trump is seeking to cut $500 million from the Treasury Department. Nearly 50% of those cuts will directly impact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by $239 million. President Obama increased the IRS’s budget to seek out tax dodgers, and Trump is reversing course to help his corporate cronies have as much of an advantage in cheating the government as possible.
The Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) budget is being slashed by 31% and over 50 different programs are slated to be eliminated. This is not surprising as Trump does not believe in climate change, and nor does the EPA’s chief. Furthermore, the Office of Research and Development is being slashed by 50%. This will prevent the EPA from finding new solutions to the impending cataclysm of climate change.
Perhaps the most ominous item in Trump’s budget is the $52 billion he seeks to add to the Department of Defense, increasing their budget by 9% to $639 billion. After spending over a year on the campaign trail deriding Obama’s foreign policy and military leadership, Trump is now doubling down in preparing America for war.
The best way for Trump’s friends in the military industrial complex to generate profit is to build war machines, and to start a war in which to implement the machines. Then Trump can hire military contractors to rebuild the areas which they destroyed. It will prove to be a never ending drain on the American taxpayer.
Absolutely none of the budget presented by Trump is a benefit to the American people. Science and research is under open attack. Food is being taken out of the mouths of children while military contractors have all received a large raise. Tax cheats will run wild as the IRS’s small budget has been made even smaller and there is little which can be done to prevent the legislation from passing.
The Republican party controls both the Senate and House of Representatives and despite the likelihood of Democrats attempting to filibuster the budget is going to pass as surely as water is wet.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.