Entity reports on Donald Trump cutting funds.

 

“Ooh, look what a big, strong man I am!” Those might as well have been the words on the front of Donald Trump’s new budget proposal.

This pissing contest of a proposal reads like a little boy’s idea of how the world should be.  As social media users have pointed out, it’s easily summed up as: “Military? Awesome…Science? Boring…Arts? That’s for, yuck, girls.”

Just like a little boy in the playground, he has blatantly attacked non-machismo concepts since coming to power.  The latest example is this budget proposal, in which Trump seems to be acting more like a frat president than a U.S. president, slashing everything from the arts to environmental protections, while simultaneously building up the military.

There has been such widespread condemnation of the childish nature of the budget blueprint that he is becoming the most unpopular boy-like king since King Joffrey in “Game of Thrones.”

Specifically, Trump announced a proposal to cut $54 billion in government spending with the aim of reassigning those dollars to law enforcement and U.S. military defense funds. Because God knows America really needs more defense spending (hardly?)!

defense spending US

That said, he is giving zero funding to the arts, which means government funded public service broadcasters PBS and NPR risk possible elimination. That’s because those cornerstones of American broadcasting are largely funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which has a mission to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content by delivering its funding from Congress to public TV and radio stations. PBS and NPR have won hundreds of prestigious awards for outstanding programming and reporting but both face now an uncertain future.

Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be cut to zero under the Trump proposal, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely, which is the first time any president has proposed such a measure. The artistic community has reacted with horror and disbelief on social media.

Defending the proposal on MSNBC, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney asked, “Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no. We can ask them to pay for defense and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

PBS is best known, of course, as the home of “Sesame Street” and Trump clearly has Big Bird and other educational programs in his sights. Julie Andrews has been among the many voices stressing the importance of arts education in childhood.

The “Mary Poppins” star described the proposed cuts  as “mind-boggling” and told CNN participation in the arts can help early childhood development, setting kids up for academic, professional, and personal success. Trump certainly couldn’t relate to an ordinary childhood. As the son of a billionaire, he did his newspaper delivery round by chauffeur driven limousine when it was raining.

As for some of the other proposed cuts being made, environmental spending is set to be slashed by 31 percent, eliminating 50 environmental protection programs in the process. The Environmental Protection Agency has been targeted for some of the toughest cuts. As well as its budget being cut by nearly a third, the agency’s staff members will be cut from 15,000 to 12,000. Scrapped entirely will be large scale cleanup and restoration efforts on well known waterways such as San Francisco Bay and the Great Lakes.

Anti-poverty programs nationwide are also set to be eliminated due to a nearly 18 percent, or $15.1 billion, spending cut on the Department of Health and Human Services —  a department whose main focus is protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Naturally this had to get slashed from TrumpLand. Among the programs to help poor people which are getting big reductions in their grants is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program which helps low-income Americans with their heating bills.

Foreign aid is also being hugely reduced as part of his “America First” agenda. That has drawn criticism internationally, including from the French ambassador to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, who warned of instability being triggered by funding cuts to global programs.

Trump Game of Thrones meme

Trump “Game of Thrones” meme

The document puts all of Trump’s populist rhetoric into one long manifesto of boyish bravado.  As the Washington Post said, “If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you.”

Of course, this proposal only scratches the surface of what Trump has in mind, which is why the document is known as the “skinny budget” considering it only contains the major headlines.  A more detailed budget will be unveiled in May 2017 with the idea that Congress will adopt a budget plan before the new fiscal year begins in September 2017.

Frighteningly, we are only two months in to Trump’s first term.   Lord help us!

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