Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trump's Budget Is About Protecting Money and Privilege

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

I have run for public office exactly one time in my life.  Years ago I was living and working in a small town, a community that I loved, when the city's police department began exerting itself in what appeared to be a calculated effort to take over governance of the town.   Acting upon the encouragement of friends, I filed to run for city council against a five-term incumbent - a person who appeared to be doing the bidding of the head of the police department.  I campaigned hard, visiting each household in my precinct, and on election day my efforts were rewarded by a tie vote with the incumbent.   The election was eventually decided through a toss of a coin - rather than go through an expensive second election.  I won that coin toss.

I served ably in the city council, trying to stay fully aware and informed of all business being discussed by our government body.  Having quite a bit of experience in school administration, I had an understanding of the importance of the budgeting process, and when the mayor failed to appoint me to the upcoming budget planning committee, I made a fuss and appointed myself.  Somehow or other,  the mayor chose to acquiesce to my demand, and I was able to become part of the process for establishing the budget -  a defining component of government.

A budget codifies the philosophy of a government body, sets priorities, and establishes a blueprint for getting those priorities accomplished.

Donald Trump submitted his first budget to Congress last week, and with that document he showed Congress and the nation exactly the type of America he wants to create.  The Trump budget asked for big increases in military spending and money for domestic law enforcement.   As a counter to those drastic new expenditures, he proposed cutting sixty-six programs which mostly benefit the poor, the disabled, and the environment.  His vision of America is of a police state with a strong international military presence, and a nation devoid of many of the cultural niceties (like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Meals on Wheels, food stamps, Head Start, and climate and space research) that certain segments of the population have come to appreciate.  Human services are also not valued in Trump's America.

Before Trump's budget came out, we only had hints as to where he wanted to take the country.  Now, with the proposed budget, his horrible vision is articulated - it is out there for all to see.  Trump's America is no longer some abstract parlor game.  He has a plan and it's a published fact.  Yes, Congress will make changes, and situations will arise that force changes in spending plans, but anyone who wants to know where Trump's head is at today needs only to look at his budget.

Trump's budget is about protecting money and privilege.  It is not about services to those in need.

Trump's America is a cold and mean place - his budget tells us so.

1 comment:

Don said...

Joe Biden once said “As my Dad used to say, ‘Do not tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I will tell you what you value.’”

Of course, for Trump that saying may not apply since there's no possibility he knows what's in the budget he signs off on.