A Deeper Dive into the Trump-GOP Budget: $$$ for Wars, Cuts for Peace, Poverty Programs, and Children
David Ingold, Chloe Whiteaker, Michael Keller and Hannah Recht, three Bloomberg writers, posted an article Thursday that identified 19 agencies that would be completely eliminated and “at least 61 other programs” that would lose funding altogether in the Trump-GOP budget. They also identify those programs that stand to gain from the cuts. The verbiage in the article itself is as spare as the spending will be for social programs:
U.S. President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal includes massive cuts across most of the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture face unprecedented discretionary funding cuts in excess of 25 percent, as Trump attempts to boost the military and national security.
Trump’s budget also proposes eliminating discretionary funding altogether for at least 19 agencies and 61 other programs. Plans for new NASA missions, climate change research, aid for low-income families and funding for commercial flights to rural airports would all be on the chopping block. Trump says many of these programs are inefficient or duplicative. All this could change; Trump will deliver a final budget in May and Congress would have to approve the cuts—something they have often resisted in the past.
The cuts to the EPA should be no surprise to anyone given the GOP platform. The GOP does not want anyone to sacrifice their truck or SUVs, their 72 degree homes, or the use of fossil fuels to provide electricity. The EPA, on the other hand, exists to defend the environment against degradation.
The cuts to agriculture seem surprising at first glance. But an examination of the programs listed in the Bloomberg article indicate three programs that will be eliminated as part those cuts:
Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program
◦ Provides funding for clean drinking water, sanitary sewage disposal and storm-water drainage programs in rural areas.
Rural Business and Cooperative Service’s discretionary programs
◦ Provides financial assistance for economic development programs in rural communities, including renewable energy and biofuel initiatives.
McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program
◦ Supports education, child development and food security initiatives in low-income, food-deficit countries around the world.
These cuts are consistent with the GOP’s desire to deregulate everything and oppose any federal efforts to move away from fossil fuels in favor of clean energy initiatives. They also show the GOPs desire to move away from any efforts toward international governance, towards sharing the largesse of our nation with other countries around the world in the same way the party opposes sharing the largesse of the wealthiest individuals with those who are most in need in our nation.
The cuts to education programs were described broadly in an earlier post. Here are some specific education programs that will be completely unfunded:
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants
◦ Provides grants to non-profit organizations that recruit and provide professional enhancement for teachers and principals.
21st Century Community Learning Centers
◦ Supports community learning centers that provide before-and after-school programs for children, particularly those in high-poverty areas.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
◦ Provides need-based grants of up to $4,000 to low-income undergraduates for postsecondary education.
◦ Helps states fund literacy programs for children, birth through grade 12, including those with disabilities and limited English.
Teacher Quality Partnership
◦ Funds initiatives aimed at improving the quality of new teachers through better development and recruiting methods.
Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property
◦ Provides funding to school districts that have a diminished tax base due to federal property ownership in the district.
As the underscored and italicized sections indicate, three of these programs are targeted for low income and/or disabled and immigrant students with the other two targeted for new teachers who often serve those same students. The cuts to Health and Human Services programs reinforce the GOPs intent to move away from international governance and providing a safety net for those living in poverty:
Fogarty International Center
◦ Supports global health research initiatives, including infectious disease research in developing countries.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
◦ Provides assistance to low income families to help pay for their home’s energy bills and some energy-related maintenance.
Community Services Block Grant
◦ Funds projects aimed at reducing poverty in communities, including projects focused on education, nutrition, employment and housing.
And the Housing and Urban Development cuts amplify the GOPs intent to shred the safety net for those in poverty:
Community Development Block Grant Program
◦ Funds programs that assist low-income people with housing issues, including the elimination of urban blight and other community programs.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program
◦ Provides block grants to state and local governments to create affordable housing solutions for low-income households.
◦ Funds programs to replace distressed public housing and promotes investment for neighborhood improvement.
Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program
◦ Funds nonprofit organizations that build new housing for low-income families through sweat equity and volunteer labor.
Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing
◦ Works with nonprofit groups to fund community development and affordable housing initiatives aimed at low-income families.
And wait… there are even MORE cuts that impact education and children raised in poverty.
- NASA’s Office of Education a program that “Supports education in public elementary and secondary schools and informal settings, coordinates and disseminates findings of NASA research projects” is cut completely;
- The National Endowment for the Arts, an agency that supports programs in public schools across the country;
- The National Endowment for Humanities, an agency that provides grants to public school teachers and schools themselves;
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services, an agency that “…supports libraries and museums through research, policy development and grant making”;
- The Corporation for National and Community Service, an agency that funds “…thousands of volunteer organizations across the country and runs AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Social Innovation Fund”;
- The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation an agency that assists organizations who strive to revitalize rural, urban and suburban communities and help individuals secure access to affordable housing;
- The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, an agency that “…coordinates with federal agencies to prevent and end homelessness.
And on top of all of those programs and agencies the budget completely eliminates four regional commissions, the Appalachian, Delta Regional, Denali, and Northern Border Regional, that offer support to those in those geographic areas who need government help to develop businesses in 24 states where jobs are difficult to find.
And low income individuals seeking legal assistance will no longer have the Legal Services Corporation to turn to… and last, but not least, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will no longer receive any federal support if this budget is adopted.
One only needs to look at the GOP platform to see the source of the thinking behind this budget. If more money needs to be spent on war and the budget needs to be balanced, something needs to be cut because it is a given in the GOP platform that taxes cannot be increased. Since the GOP is opposed to “handouts” for those in poverty, is opposed to international organizations who strive for peace, and is opposed to regulations of any kind—especially those that support clean air and clean water, this is what the GOP has to offer. And make no mistake: this IS the GOP’s budget, not President Trump’s.
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