President Trump’s newly released budget has sent a shiver of fear through what people have come to call the “deep state.”
Washington D.C. and nearby Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland have been awash in federal dollars in the expansion of spending during the Obama years.
The Atlantic reports that in D.C. alone, 44% of the people work in the federal government.
D.C.’s skyline is dotted with giant cranes to keep up with demand by newbies coming to town to work and live in the nation’s capital.
Things have been good.
But, as Forbes Magazine columnist Tom Del Beccaro puts it, the country’s balance sheet is in worse shape than you may think:
Our country is $20 trillion in debt on an $18 trillion economy. If you made $100,000 per year, your equivalent credit card debt would be $111,000.
The country has over $80 trillion in unfunded obligations - that is equivalent to you owing that $111,000 plus another $444,000 on a credit card. All in all, you owe 5 times your current income in debt. 5 times!!!
Now, President Trump is calling for some increases in defense spending, veterans affairs, and homeland security. And he’s proposing some cuts.
Here are the ten budget cuts freaking out fans of big government:
Meals on Wheels
The federal government gives this wonderful private/public partnership program 3% to 35% of its funding. Indeed, it’s the block grant program that Reason said is “rife with waste, fraud and abuse” that is being targeted.
The New Yorker called it the “Voldemort Budget.”
Reason also reported that Democrats have already started fundraising on this proposed cut.
The LA Times reports that Trump plans to increase funding for voucher programs and charter schools and reducing funding for teacher planning days and some before and after school programs.
Environmental Protection Administration
The EPA was started during the Nixon Administration to clean up dirty water and air. Now, the agency is so big it that the 31.4% cut it’s facing under the Trump budget represents a whopping $2.6 billion. Trump has already ordered that reviews being bogged down by EPA be fast tracked and regulations on business, manufacturing, coal mining, and other businesses be reduced. The climate change department of the EPA would be eliminated.
National Endowment for the Humanities & National Endowment for the Arts
The LA Times noted that these programs were started in the 1960’s to fund all kinds of programs, some of which used to be funded by private donors. You hear the names often cited before and after public television and radio programs, along with private foundations. The Trump budget would eliminate these programs.
Public Broadcasting Corporation
Created in 1967 when there was a dearth of news choices, the Public Broadcasting Corporation provided at least one station that people could watch on TV or listen to on the radio. But now, with the explosion of news sources and the internet, the Trump administration aims to remove, what Fortune Magazine characterizes as “relatively minuscule” – $445 million – amount it gets from government and let it become completely private.
The corporation receives foundation support, from regular fund raising appeals, and by making a bundle on its hit shows.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Agency for International Development, money for the United Nations, World Bank, foreign aid, and the “Green Climate Fund” are being reduced by 31% which represents $17 billion.
National Forest System
The Trump administration proposed a big cut in the National Forest System land acquisition program. The program has been used to take huge swaths of land from state governments, especially western states, preventing logging and off roading.
The AP reported that Trump wants to cut back transportation by 13% which would reduce some of the huge federal subsidies for long-distance Amtrak routes and future light rail and subway systems.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is targeted for a $250 million reduction in grants that deal with global warming.
The IRS has the thankless task of parting people from their hard-earned money. And recently, the agency has taken a hit after admitting to and then clamming up about giving liberal, but not conservative, groups tax breaks.
The Trump administration is calling for $239 million dollars in cuts from the agency in 2017-2018.
Reuters reported that the Trump budget maintains the current $488 billion dollar deficit.