you happened to have voted for the 45th President, you may be feeling
a little spat on, right about now. The man who said he wanted to
take care of the little people, those who were forgotten by the
elites, now wants to cut programs that affect these working class
people, ranging from Legal Aid to Meals on Wheels to housing
assistance to job training. He would cut the Environmental
Protection Agency by more than 31 percent, leaving more than 3000
workers in the cold. Many of his other budget provisions will call
for federal reductions-in-force, and these chaotic RIFs may cause
instability in some government agencies, since workers can appeal
their RIF, or bump other workers out of their jobs.
45 cuts are not being done with scalpels or knives, but with
machetes; with his budget making his position on the culture wars
clear. He would entirely eliminate the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National
Endowment for the Humanities, and National Public Radio. The
Department of Housing and Urban Development will get $6.2 billion
cut, and even though the Department of Education will get a 12
percent cut, $1.4 billion dollars are slated to support private
schools through school choice. HBCU programs have not been cut, but
many of the programs they depend on, including work-study programs,
have been cut. It’s an ugly budget, but it’s the budget
that Trump promised, a budget that “puts America first with a
$54 billion increase in Defense spending, and $2.6 billion for the
wall that Mexico is supposed to pay for.
need to rail against this budget even as we tease out its odious
details, but we also need to realize that it is too early to panic.
Why? Congress still has to pass this budget. Though Republicans
control the House of Representatives and the Senate. I can’t
believe they have all lost their minds. There are physicians among
those elected Republicans who must surely understand the value of the
medical research 45 has threatened to cut. There are educators who
understand the importance of summer Pell grants. There must be
environmental Republicans who will fight the cuts of the EPA and the
cessation of other climate change research. These are Republicans
who need to step up, and they are the ones who must be lobbied.
will be lots moaning and groaning, teeth-gnashing and horror about
this budget. But there ought also be resistance. There will be
hearings, and those who resist ought to be attending those hearings.
Members of Congress will be visiting their districts, and resisters
need to be there to confront them about this budget. 45’s
budget is nothing but a request. It is not a fait accompli, and it
won’t be unless we roll over and accept this madness.
45th President exhibits an unusual inability to understand our
governmental system of checks and balances. He seems to think that
he can unilaterally declare a policy change. He wants to get rid of
the Environmental Protection Agency. Does everyone? He wants to put
more money into private schools. Are there members of Congress who
would resist? It is time for Republicans of conscience (are there
any) to step up and say that it’s not okay to stop Meals on
Wheels. It’s not okay to damage our environment. It’s
not okay to cut off funds for medical research. All of us need to
have marched, and both women and immigrants have stayed home to
express their resistance. The presentation of this warped budget
offers another opportunity for resistance, and the very future of our
nature depends on this resistance.
It is unfathomable that these Bible-thumping Republicans will turn
their back on children, the elderly, and those who desperately need
job training to contribute to the economy. The key to altering this
budget process is resistance.