Friday, March 17, 2017

Trump's America: Dumber, Dirtier, Sicker and More Destitute

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In keeping with the Republican Party's goal of restoring the worse aspects of the Gilded Age, Der Trumpenführer's proposed budget slashes budgets for programs that aid the less fortunate - even Meals on Wheels would be eliminated - and cut education spending while pouring money into the military.  The Washington Post described the budget as follows:
President Trump on Thursday will unveil a budget plan that calls for a sharp increase in military spending and stark cuts across much of the rest of the government including the elimination of dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor, fund scientific research and aid America’s allies abroad. . . . . would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.
It would also propose eliminating future federal 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 eliminated.

The Hill list some of the programs to be cut and the only redeeming factor - if one is a cynic and believe that actions need to have consequences - is that many Trump voters will be severely hurt by the proposals, underscoring the dangers of voting based on calls to racism, religious extremism and general misogyny.   Here are a dew of the programs:
The Appalachian Regional Commission, which funds projects meant to bolster businesses, education, culture, and economic development in Appalachia.
The Chemical Safety Board, which investigates accidents in the chemical industry and makes safety recommendations.
The Denali Commission, which supports utilities and infrastructure in Alaska.
 The Legal Services Corporation, which provides civil legal aid for low-income Americans.
 The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, which funds community development project throughout the U.S.
The Northern Border Regional Commission, which supports economic development in poor areas near the Canadian border.
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates efforts to fight homelessness among nearly 20 federal agencies.

Add these to the assault on the EPA, allowing coal mining wastes to be dump into rivers and streams, and the proposed curtailments to Medicaid and the message to poorer Americans is just go ahead and die.  The thing to remember through all of this is that the GOP claims to be the party of "Christian values."  The fact that 81% of evangelicals voted for this underscores the reality that conservative Christianity is toxic to the general welfare.  A column in the Washington Post aptly describes Der Trumpenführer's concept of "Making America Great Again."  Here are excerpts:
President Trump’s first budget is an attempt to reshape the federal government in his own image — crass, bellicose, shortsighted, unserious and ultimately hollow.
The reality is that if Congress were to accept these numbers — which it can’t possibly do — America would be made dumber, dirtier, hungrier and sicker. That may be Trump’s idea of greatness, but it’s certainly not mine.
Would we at least be safer? I doubt it. Trump wants to boost defense spending by $54 billion, or about 9 percent. But at the same time, he proposes cutting funding for the State Department by an incredible 28 percent, slashing the relatively modest hands-across-the-sea assistance and advice the United States gives to other nations. Most of the generals and admirals I know believe in projecting U.S. strength through soft power as well as hard power. Trump apparently disagrees.
[T]he proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent can only be seen as a first step toward dismemberment. “The president wants a smaller EPA,” Mulvaney explained. “He thinks they overreach.”
Trump wants to eliminate more than 3,200 EPA jobs, representing more than 20 percent of the workforce. It was a Republican president, Richard Nixon, who founded the agency, and it is another Republican president who apparently wants to end the federal government’s role in protecting the environment. It is perhaps no surprise that Trump wants to end EPA programs and regulations aimed at halting global warming, since he has ventured the opinion that climate change is a Chinese hoax; NASA programs to study warming would be cut as well. But the budget would also eliminate federal funding for efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes. Make America’s Water Dirty Again!
The National Institutes of Health would suffer a 19 percent cut, sharply reducing the amount of federal money available for research grants to universities.
There’s barely a peep in Trump’s budget about Medicare or Medicaid. Given the angry reaction to the Republican health-care plan, Trump must have decided — for once — that silence was the best choice.

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