A leaked version of the Trump budget finds devastating cuts that are brutally targeted at hurting the poor and vulnerable in America and around the world, while also making substance abuse and climate problems worse.
A leaked version of the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget reveals major cuts to domestic and international programs that would, in the words of one expert, “kill a lot of people.”
The group Third Way released a spreadsheet they received with information on the proposed budget, noting, “With the interest of the American public in mind — and as nothing in this document would be deemed classified material — we are releasing this document for all to see.”
The document prioritizes cuts that are nakedly cruel to the most vulnerable, and again exposes the purported compassion from Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans as just more lip service.
Jeremy Konyndyk, former director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, put it bluntly, saying the budget would “kill a lot of people.” He specifically noted that the plan would eliminate the humanitarian food aid account, while there is currently the risk of famine in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia.
The plan would also cut $2 billion from the Social Services Block Grant, a program that helps states to aid the poorest and most vulnerable Americans. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains that the program helps “people become more self-sufficient by providing child care assistance, to prevent and address child abuse and neglect, and to support community-based care for the elderly and disabled.”
About 28 million Americans, half of them children, receive services funded completely or in part by the block grant.
The Trump plan also proposes zeroing out the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which assists households with the disabled, elderly, and families with preschool-age children who need critical help with home heating and cooling bills.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would face cuts affecting its work on cancer, infectious diseases, heart ailments, diabetes, and mental health, among others. Despite Trump’s promises to address the opioid crisis, the plan cuts 20 percent from the NIH budget for addressing drug abuse — and that’s in concert with the administration’s plans to also cut the national office assisting in the fight against drug abuse and related crimes.
The Department of Energy would see massive reductions, particularly to programs working on renewable and clean energy — which would mesh with Trump’s efforts and executive orders enabling corporate polluters.
The plan also calls for raiding student financial aid, instead spending the funds to pay for the useless wall on the southern border that Trump has incessantly promoted.
As other Republicans have proposed, the plan would also cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund PBS, and the National Science Foundation.
Third Way President Jon Cowan described the plan as “a catastrophe for America,” pointing out, “It slashes critical support to allies in their efforts to defeat terrorism and eviscerates the tools our diplomats need to prevent conflict. Peacekeeping efforts have been cut in half.”
Like so many of Trump’s other actions and proposals, the plan would make America less safe, less secure, vulnerable, and not “great” at all.