From today’s New York Times:
President Trump will send a budget to Congress on Thursday that sharply reorders the nation’s priorities by spending billions of dollars on defending the southern border and bolstering the Pentagon while severely cutting funds for foreign aid, poverty programs and the environment.
There were really no surprises, as we have been given a pretty clear indication in recent weeks of what the budget would contain. I would ask all who voted for Trump a simple question: Is this really what you wanted?
The EPA budget cuts alone would cost an estimated 3,200 jobs! I thought Trump said he planned to increase jobs? It would also eliminate all funding for enactment of the Clean Power Plan, the regulations designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. It would also discontinue funding for climate change research and international climate change programs.
The State Department budget, cut by 29%, would cut back funding for the United Nations peacekeeping mission, as well as cutting out all funding for U.N. climate change initiatives. It would also trim contributions to the development of the World Bank.
The budgets for the Legal Services Corporation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts — would be axed entirely. The money saved by cutting the budgets of the EPA, Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, Energy, Housing & Urban Development and others would go toward increased spending on defense. We already, as I recently mentioned, spend twice more than any other nation in the world. So why, one must ask, do we need to increase military spending by $52.3 billion???
I have pondered and puzzled over this and finally I think I have hit on the answer. Think about how Trump has spent his first weeks in office … he has offended a number of world leaders who are, or were, our allies, such as Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, German Chancellor Angela Merkel … and the list goes on. As if it weren’t bad enough that he insults our friends, he has also taken pot shots at our enemies … Iran, North Korea, and China to name a few. In fact, about the only country he seems to actually like is Russia. So, logic tells you that sooner or later Kim Jong-un of North Korea will actually aim one of those missiles at the U.S. and we will not have any friends left to come to our aid, so that is the reason we might need all those extra warships and fighter jets.
All joking aside, however, I see not one single thing to like in this budget. It takes much away from humanitarian causes to buy more weapons … more than we need or likely ever will need. It sacrifices the very jobs that Trump promised to create. In addition to the huge increase in military spending, the Department of Homeland Security would also see a $2.8 billion increase, most of which is intended to use to build his infamous “wall” along the U.S.-Mexican border. What a waste of money that could be used to help people, to educate children, to provide healthcare, housing assistance, and all the other necessities that Trump would see us do without.
The good news, to the extent there is any, is that this budget has little or no chance of passing in Congress. Even many of the Republicans in Congress say that Trump’s cuts as too rushed, indiscriminate and reckless. “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all of the people in it,” said Mick Mulvaney, the White House’s budget director.
All else aside, “the wall” seems to be the biggest bone of contention in Congress. Even many GOP congressmen are losing their enthusiasm, with the latest cost estimates as high as $25 billion, and the reality being that the cost is likely to go even higher than that. And it appears that some are even wakig up to the fact that Mexico is not going to reimburse us for the wall, nor should they, and that there is no means for forcing them to. Nor should there be. If my neighbor wants a fence between his house and mine, and if I do not particularly want said fence, then he can pay for it, for I will not. Simple.
In the Senate, where the Republicans have only a narrow majority of two, the budget would require 60 ‘aye’ votes to pass, which means that every Republican and at least eight Democratic senators would have to support it. Not going to happen. So what happens next? Back to the drawing board, but meanwhile, no doubt, there will be bullying, threats and rants from da trumpeter. Hold onto your hats, people, for I am predicting a mass of hot air to come soon.