Trump’s Budget: Red State Wake-Up Call

Not only does Trump’s budget eliminate ALL funding for after-school programs, the arts, public broadcasting, and the list goes on and on, he even cuts funding to pet projects serving exclusively Red states. After a deep review of the budget, I leave you with John Oliver’s review of the Trump budget. You’ll need the laugh.

Reverend Barber has stated that “every budget is either a moral budget or an immoral budget.”

Mahatma Ghandi famously noted: “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”
Well, by either criteria, the Trump budget is so shameful, so unabashedly petty and mean spirited that it defies belief. The American Healthcare Act (AHCA) is brazen in its callousness and obvious favoring of the wealthy, but this budget is almost unimaginable. You’ve likely seen the gross numbers: the 31% cut in the Environmental Protection Agency, 29% cut to State Department, 21% cuts to Agriculture, Labor and Justice, with large cuts in education, transportation, commerce, and housing. The sole increases in funding are to homeland security, veteran’s services, and defense. But what is lost in those numbers are the programs that Trump’s budget would eliminate entirely. It is incomprehensible that anyone could even be considering eliminating federal support for all of the programs listed below — all of them. What is astonishing is not that programs related to climate change, renewable energy, the arts, and children are being axed, it is that Trump is zeroing out huge programs that serve his voting base. Take a look at the list below. Before you completely panic, keep in mind that Congress must approve this budget, and Republicans like their jobs.
This is not going to be a popular budget, and it will reveal the true values of this administration. If a budget is a moral gauge of our priorities, consider what we are becoming under the leadership of this administration. And as you scroll through this list, note that many of these programs receive about the same level of funding as a single F-35 fighter jet: $70million. Trump’s budget includes funding for 2,457 of these $70 million jets. By eliminating just one of those, Trump could restore Chesapeake Bay. That moral decision is made in relation to every one of these budget decisions. We are not even discussing how eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy could provide the revenue needed to sustain these programs. While our eyes fixate on these cuts, we must remember that the real game is in the tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporate America.
Trump’s budget cuts ALL Federal funding for ALL of the programs below:
  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs and summer programs—this is the funding that provides after-school programs for tens of millions of children. This is inconceivable. In my work I have evaluated these programs for 2 decades. They have immense impact on communities, schools, families, children. And unlike some of the programs below, Federal funding represents a huge proportion of the funding supporting these programs.
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, which funds research including clean energy. We should expect an anti-science, anti-renewable administration to reduce funding for research into clean energy, but cutting all of its funding? It’s one thing to advance drilling, but to deny any merit for seeking energy sources that are clean seems to equate ‘clean’ with wasteful.
  • African Development Foundation; Can’t be surprised Trump has no interest in this.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission.  ARC funds countless programs that serve 25 million Americans in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Nine Red States, and Mitch McConnell is not happy about this, not happy at all. In a speech to the Fifth District Lincoln Club Saturday in Corbin, McConnell said “We are not going to allow any cuts to the Appalachian Regional Commission. It is very important to Eastern Kentucky.”
  • Chemical Safety Board — Who needs it, given how carefully the chemical industry regulates itself?
  • Community Development Block Grant, which in part funds Meals on Wheels and scores of other local programs like Boys & Girls Clubs, Senior Centers, and an array of local employment and economic stimulus projects;
  • Community Services Block Grant, under HHS…bye-bye senior services, early childhood, family supports. Remember Gandhi’s quote: measure a society by how it treats its weakest. This is a key fund serving our weakest. .
  • Corporation for National and Community Service, Americorps Gone Entirely
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting — No more federal funds for NPR or CPB, and the irony here is that NPR gets only 1% of its funds from the Feds and CPB 7%. The rural public communication systems will be hit hardest — they serve the heart of Trump support, and they rely on these funds for up to 50% of their budgets;
  • Delta Regional Authority: I understand why he’d want to cut PBS and NPR, but this program serves 8 states, 7 of them deep Red states — Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee — by creating jobs, building communities, and improving the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.
  • Denali Commission–infrastructure in another historically Red state–Alaska.
  • Essential Air Service program—subsidizes rural airports, i.e. the heart of Trumpland can say goodbye to their airports;
  • Global Climate Change Initiative — No surprise here.;
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay funding, and other regional programs under EPA.
  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, all under HUD, a lifeline for those struggling to get a toe-hold in this brutal economy.
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services. This is a relatively small amount of funding for an essential cultural lifeline;
  • Legal Services Corporation — In a nation predicated on justice, we will deny representation to those without the means to pay for it. That is not justice.  
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program—anything with the words “Low-Income” is gone, but for low-income seniors suffering extreme heat and extreme cold, this is a life-saving subsidy. Is this what we mean by “our huddled masses,” our grandparents who can’t afford heat, huddling to stave off freezing after working a lifetime?
  • Minority Business Development Agency, under Commerce….no surprise here.
  • National Endowment for the Arts…. Arts?  
  • National Endowment for the Humanities…. Humanities? No surprise.
  • NASA’s Office of Education–Funds science education and we know what this administration thinks of science
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation–a tremendous program that leverages state, federal, local, and private investment to create jobs in low-income communities, including rural communities;
  • Northern Border Regional Commission — another jobs program in rural Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, communities that voted heavily for Trump.
  • State Energy Program — tremendous program that supports sustainable energy projects. Trump claims that his cuts are getting rid of programs that can’t demonstrate success, click here for about 35 specific examples of successful SEP programs.
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, the second-largest program feds have used to influence local education
  • TIGER transportation grants, another federal transportation infrastructure program with staggering examples of success, click here for more.This is the infrastructure Trump promised to rebuild, the infrastructure that agricultural, trucking, and the poor use to cross the country or their rural roads.
  • United States Institute of Peace — clearly not a priority.
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness — Gandhi’s quote comes to mind again. You don’t get more vulnerable than homeless and here we propose to eliminate funding to support services to this population.
  • Weatherization Assistance Program — with the Low-Income Home Energy program (above) an absolutely vital lifeline to low-income families living in harsh summer and winter climates;
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Over the next several weeks, Retake will take deeper dives into many of the programs above, highlighting the tremendous contributions they have made to our nation. The assertion has been made by the Trump administration that they are simply no longer going to fund programs that don’t work. It is incumbent upon us to fight these false assertions or we are accepting them as truths. The programs above have been serving this nation and some of its most vulnerable populations for decades, and we will tell their stories. For example: Meals on Wheels.  “We serve more than 2.4 million seniors from 60 to 100+ years old each year,” the organization writes. “They are primarily older than 60 and because of physical limitations or financial reasons, have difficulty shopping for or preparing meals for themselves.”  If that doesn’t clear the bar for “results,” as Mulvaney put it, there’s also been a fair amount of peer-reviewed research on the efficacy of the program.  A 2013 review of studies, for instance, found that home-delivered meal programs for seniors “significantly improve diet quality, increase nutrient intakes, and reduce food insecurity and nutritional risk among participants. Other beneficial outcomes include increased socialization opportunities, improvement in dietary adherence, and higher quality of life.”

Put in dollars and cents:  “The average cost of a one-month nursing home stay is equivalent to providing home-delivered meals five days a week for approximately seven years,” one of the studies in the analysis found. How’s that for “results”?

But for now, ponder the list above and what is to be cut. And realize what we are becoming as a nation and as a people. There is only appropriate response to these budgetary offenses: activism. Your activism. See below for opportunities to become more involved.

Coming Events

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR. Saturday 11am, March 25 with Tim Keller

The focus this month is on money in politics and Saturday March 25 at 11am, we will have a special one-hour, live, in-studio show as it will be pledge week. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver will be in studio for the occasion. I would like to encourage all of you to plan to call in and make your donation during the Retake show at 11am on the 25th. Call in between 11-11:30am on Saturday, March 25 and make a contribution and indicate your support for KSFR and Retake Our Democracy. Call into 505-428-1382.

Thurs., March 30, 7–8:30 pm. Temple Beth Shalom. 205 E. Barcelona Rd. Santa Fe. Economic Justice in Santa Fe: An Interfaith & Civic Perspective on Public Banking. With Mayor Javier Gonzales & SF City Councilor Renee Villarreal plus Elaine Sullivan from Banking On New Mexico. An Interfaith Dialogue with Sensei Joshin Byrnes of Upaya Zen Center & Rabbi Neil Amswych of Temple Beth Shalom. RSVP here.

Sat., April 1, 10 am–1 pm. Higher Education Building, 1950 Siringo Road, Santa Fe. New Mexicans for Money out of Politics partners with American Promise, a national group that organizes and advocates across the country, to provide a free, half-day training on advocating for a 28th constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision known as “Citizens United.” The training will provide information on how best to mobilize the political will necessary to ratify a constitutional amendment establishing once and for all that corporations are not persons and that money is not a form of speechClick here for more on the American Promise. For more information or to RSVP, email BreakingBigMoneysGrip@gmail.com.

Outreach & Organizing Action Team, Tuesday, April 4th, 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Center for Progress & Justice 1420 Cerrillos. We ask new folks to come at 5pm to get an orientation to the status of planning. Outreach and Organizing will advance planning in relation to:

  • Community Conversations Canvassing, our block-by-block neighborhood organizing effort;
  • Open House Activism Parties
  • Outreach to other communities
  • Broadening the Santa Fe base
  • Forming Alliances with other organizations.

Click here for details and to RSVP.  If we are going to effectively advance a progressive movement, it will require all of you to become far more active. This is a great place to start.

Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear: An Interfaith Panel on Finding Common Moral Ground

Thurs. April 6, 7-9pm. Temple Beth Shalom, 205 East Barcelona Road, Santa Fe.  The rhetoric and actions of the current U.S. Administration have been disturbing on many levels: threats of banning entire religions from entering the country, mass deportation of others, an alarming rise in intolerance and violence against immigrants and communities of certain faiths, and an overall surge in narrow-mindedness and bigotry. Many of our friends and neighbors feel threatened, unsafe, and marginalized because of who they are or what they believe. Listen and participate in a discussion of how communities of faith can help us find common moral ground that unites us, protects us, and builds a powerful force for justice. Tickets are free, but you must have a ticket to enter. Get your tickets here.

Panelists:

  • Reverend Dr. Antonio Aja, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Rabbi Neil Amswych, Temple Beth Shalom
  • Imam Abdul Aziz Eddebbarh, Chairman, Ibn Asheer Islamic Institute
  • Singh Sahib Krishna Singh Khalsa, Sikh Dharma Ministry
  • Deacon Anthony Trujillo, San Isidro Roman Catholic Church
  • Reverend Blaine Wimberly, Zia United Methodist Church

Moderator:  Reverend Gail Marriner, Unitarian Universalist Church

7 thoughts on “Trump’s Budget: Red State Wake-Up Call

  1. Thank you for all of this fantastic info. I’m having a waive of feeling burned out and overwhelmed. Appreciate your constant insight and engagement to keep me going.

    Really appreciate you both!

    -B

    Bianca Sopoci-Belknap Executive Director, Earth Care 6600 Valentine Way Building A Santa Fe, NM 87507 (505) 983-6896 (office) (505) 699-1025 (cell) http://www.earthcarenm.org

    *”I can UNDERSTAND pessimism, but I don’t BELIEVE in it. It’s not simply a matter of faith, but of historical EVIDENCE. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give HOPE, because for hope we don’t need certainty, only POSSIBILITY.” -* Howard Zinn

    On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 9:19 AM, Retake Our Democracy wrote:

    > paulgibson51 posted: “Not only does Trump’s budget eliminate ALL funding > for after-school programs, the arts, public broadcasting, and the list goes > on and on, he even cuts funding to pet projects serving exclusively Red > states. After a deep review of the budget, I leave you w” >

    Like

    • Thanks, Bianca. Need to find ways to sustain effort. Very tough in the face of them holding all the cards. Between Martinez and her vetoes and Trump and is Congress…we face a pretty stacked deck. Ugh.

      Like

  2. Thanks for the excellent overview of terrible news. We could all use a dose of the new wonder drug ‘Impeachara’ right about now. (There is a cute spoof video on the latest Common Dreams newsletter that is good for a laugh or two.) And to your comment Paul, Govzilla could use a massive dose of outrage over vetoes and the expensive special session she’s thinking about calling. Any plans to give her a batch of well-deserved *#!+?
    Catherine Dwore

    Like

  3. Hello – Is the ‘Rapid Response’ meeting still on for this Thursday (March 23)? After signing up for it – I haven’t heard any more!

    Thanks – Elizabeth Peck

    Like

    • I am glad you asked this question as we are holding an event at the same time and location as the RR meeting. As far as I know it is still on, but it is not a Retake event but an event slated by the SF Dreamers project. I’ll see if it is still on. I didn’t continue to promote it as the day after we posted it, the event was full.

      Paul

      Like

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