Trump budget jeopardizes Americans
President Trump's budget hammers the poor and forward-looking programs in order to increase military spending and build a wall, but not roads and bridges. Trump proposes to cut sources that keep us strong inside and outside our borders while building up an arsenal for more conflict, and hopefully not war.
The cuts are staggering. Programs for the poor are axed: Meals on Wheels for the elderly and disabled, Low Income Home Energy Assistance, Community Development Block Grants, lending programs for poor communities, Weatherization Assistance, transit projects crucial to job opportunities, fighting homelessness, legal assistance for the poor and job retraining in economically hit areas.
Education programs are eliminated: After-school and summer programs, aid for low-income students, teacher training, public radio and TV, including "Sesame Street," library and museum funding, arts and humanities endowments.
Scientific research that ensures economic development is eliminated including medical, climate change and technological research. Trump's America will give up on becoming a world leader in generating clean electricity or manufacturing the advanced batteries that store it. His negative statements on auto fuel-efficiency regulations indicate that we won't be on the cutting edge there either.
Environmental protection is slashed by a 31 percent cut in the EPA's budget, putting clean air and water in jeopardy. Threats to water supplies like those in Flint could no longer be addressed. Gone are 50 EPA programs that assist with everything from environmental restoration to industrial waste cleanup.
The Chemical Safety Board is eliminated. Funding to clean up the Great Lakes is decreased 100 percent.
Almost $500 million in road construction projects is eliminated, another reversal of Trump's earlier promises.
The State Department is cut by 30 percent, eliminating diplomatic efforts and aid programs that kept us safe. Prevention of conflict should come first, but Trump dismisses this common sense approach. Instead he wants $54 billion more for military spending that is already greater than the next seven largest national military budgets combined.
We need to keep our people strong, and not just finance fear and force. It's up to Congress now.