politics

Trump’s New Budget Hits Arts, Science & Services for Low-Income Families

money jar

The President has presented his new “skinny” budget to the public, and in it contains so many promised cuts to vital programs that it’s almost impossible to catalog them all. If I had room for a long headline, I’d say “New budget slashes funding for the Arts, PBS, NPR, AmeriCorps, Meals on Wheels, the environment, housing, medical science, peace initiatives, job training programs and um, nearly everything with value.”

A Washington Post list of agencies the White House wants to eliminate has circulated widely on Twitter:

Let’s be clear: this is not a family-friendly budget, and it’s particularly hostile to low-income people, cutting services like heating subsidies–that’s right, heating subsidies, for those who can’t afford them.

It also takes aim at public funding for the arts, from PBS and NPR to the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as educational funding for things like afterschool programming. And the environment is perhaps one of the hardest-hit areas, with climate change research being totally decimated.

The whole thing is ugly. Here are some experts’ opinions:

It targets the working poor, including Trump voters:

“The White House budget cuts will fall hardest on the rural and small town communities that Trump won, where one in three people are living paycheck to paycheck — a rate that is 24 percent higher than in urban counties, according to a new analysis by the center.”

Public Housing in urban areas will be decimated, leading to a homelessness crisis:

If budget cuts mean even fewer repairs happen, Parsi fears it will mean “total collapse” of living conditions in her building.

“It’ll just be like living in a third world country,” she said.

Worse, if conditions get bad enough in public housing the units can be taken completely offline. “That’s something that further feeds into the homelessness crisis,” Atta-Mensah said.

But people won’t just be homeless, they’ll be hungry, too!

Meals on Wheels provides food to the elderly, poor, veterans, disabled and others who often can’t leave their homes.

However, under the proposed budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s entire $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Arts funding will be eliminated:

Eliminating the NEA would be a devastating blow to the arts in America. For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. Territories as well as placing arts therapists in 12 military hospitals to help returning soldiers heal from traumatic brain injuries.

The effect scientific research, including medical (like, research on diseases!) and environmental, is going to be a “bloodbath.”

Not only does Trump’s plan slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, as he promised, he’s also proposing cuts to agencies that have a history of receiving broad bipartisan support — like the National Institutes of Health, one of the biggest funders of biomedical research in the world.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of outrage online.

Fortunately, this budget is by no means guaranteed. It has to be approved by congress. So, you know what to do by now. Pick up your phone and call your elected official.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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