Conservatives praise Trump’s budget slashing of departments, agencies while others attack
President Trump unveiled his first budget, cutting various domestic programs and increasing spending for defense, homeland security and the building of his southern border wall. Some conservatives are praising the move, while his opponents on the left are objecting.
The Daily Wire published a long detailed list of “good moves” by Trump’s budget beginning with cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, noting that “Budget hawks have long called for eliminating the NEA and NEH, as they are both emblematic of unnecessary, wasteful spending of taxpayer money. The federal government doesn’t need to be involved in the arts and humanities, as the $13.1 billion in private funding easily dwarfed the $292 million the government spent on the NEA and NEH in 2011.”
Cuts were made to public broadcasting, PBS, legal services and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. “Eliminating the USTDA would result in savings of $594 million over ten years. The program is unnecessary because its function of helping businesses foster trade with other countries is duplicated by several other agencies and programs,” writes the Daily Wire.
Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending at the expense of an equal cut (more than 10 percent) to nondefense discretionary spending.
“The self-described ‘law and order’ president can do better than slashing funding for the Coast Guard and the State Department,” said Ben Corb, public affairs director at American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Co-Chair of NDD United.
“When you slash the budget for everything from veterans’ housing to Meals on Wheels to National Parks you end up hurting your friends, Mr. President,” said Emily Holubowich, Co-Chair of NDD United, in a statement claiming Trump will hurt the very voters who put him in office.
“A $6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health is unacceptable to the scientific community, and should be unacceptable to the American public as well,” Corb said. “In FY2016, Congress and President Obama increased funding at the NIH by $2 billion, and last year, Congress – on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote – passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which provides additional funding for targeted research programs at the NIH.”
California Congresswoman Barbara Lee took aim at Trump, stating that “President Trump’s budget outline once again confirms that his priorities and values are deeply out of step with the American people.”
“This budget would offer massive handouts to defense contractors while gutting lifesaving programs for the poor and middle class. Despite the rampant waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon, this budget funnels even more taxpayer money into the pockets of defense contractors.,” Lee continued. “Rather than make us safer, this budget outline is a recipe for greater instability, hunger and hopelessness around the world. By cutting the Department of State and USAID by more than $10 billion, the Trump Administration is undermining our global leadership and sentencing families around the world to poverty and illness.”
Mi Familia Vota’s Ben Monterroso took issue with the “Border Wall” funding: “The president is asking Congress to waste billions of dollars to make a down payment on a border wall that will not work, according to security experts and even the congressman from Texas who represents 800 miles of the border. He also wants to bring in 1,500 more deportation agents to continue his policy of separating families because they do not fit his ugly, ’America First’ political agenda.
“Just as ugly is how he will pay for his anti-immigrant plan. He would cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by almost one-third; an agency that directly impacts the health of Latinos by reducing air and water pollution and controls release of toxic chemicals. Latino communities are disproportionately affected by pollution and the consequences of climate change, with nearly 1 in 2 Latinos in the U.S. living in counties with high levels of ozone pollution, a key component of smog that exacerbates asthma and other respiratory diseases.”