The GOP Budget Priorities Show Why They Can’t Govern

This is getting ridiculous. Republicans are not only cruel bullies, they are also irretrievably stupid.

The more we read about the Trump budget, the more absurd the whole thing looks. And please don’t let anyone say it’s all Trump’s doing because we all know better. First of all, Donny doesn’t have the brains or the stones to put together a budget. Also, there is no way he didn’t get input from the rest of the GOP. And everything in that budget is Republican orthodoxy. Today, The Hill produced a list of 22 agencies that would be eliminated by the Trump Budget. The claim is that eliminating these would reduce the budget by $3 trillion over the next decade. This comes less than eight weeks after the GOP passed a Tax Cuts for Billionaires and less than a week after the current year’s budget deficit was restated to be more than $1 trillion for this fiscal year and suggested that next year’s deficit could top $2 trillion.

This list of 22 agencies is interesting because it shows just how obtuse Republican thinking is. I’m going to list them in the same order as The Hill, including the descriptions, but I’m going to add why this cut is more likely to increase the deficit, not decrease it. (Source) Again, I’d like to reiterate, this budget is unlikely to pass intact. Still, it’s instructive to look at what they want to cut, as a way to supposedly reduce the deficit. It’s really sad. Here are the agencies the Trump White House wants to eliminate.

1. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education, which donates agricultural commodities and financial assistance to carry out school feeding programs in foreign countries.

This is the problem with the Republican view of spending. Everything is seen as going down a black hole; no money goes into anyone’s pockets, it all gets flushed into an imaginary sewer, never to be seen again. Where do they think these “agricultural commodities” come from? Farmers depend on programs like this, plus they serve to keep the price of food reasonable. So, in their zeal to save the government money, they want to raise your grocery bill and put more pressure on farmers.

2. The Rural Business and Cooperative Service, which provides loans, grants and payments intended to increase opportunities in rural communities.

3. The Economic Development Administration, which provides federal grants to communities in support of locally-developed economic plans.

4. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which subsidizes advisory and consulting services for small and medium-size manufacturers.

They keep talking about jobs, as if they’re creating them, but here are two programs that not only create job opportunities and help small businesses get off the ground, but they does so in the Trump/GOP sweet spot, which is rural areas. They help create and grow small businesses elsewhere, too. The elimination of those combined will lower tax revenue, which will increase deficits and debt, not reduce them.

5. 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which helps communities establish or expand centers to provide before- and after-school programs and summer school programs.

I spoke about this one previously. This one is just more cruelty against the low-income among us. However, it makes it more difficult for poor kids to get a good education, which will eventually affect their ability to find good employment later, which means less tax revenue. This will lead to massive increases in deficits and debt going forward.

6. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, an Education Department program that provides grants to support college preparation for low-income students.

Once again, eliminating this would be an anti-education move, which essentially means screwing the country in the long run. One of the things that made this country great, back when it was, before the GOP got involved, was our tendency to create an educated populace. That was the reason for the original GI Bill; give veterans an opportunity to go to college free or cheap, and we would create a better base of trained workers to move the economy along. This move will create fewer workers, which means fewer taxpayers, and higher deficits.

7. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which researches ways to enhance the effectiveness of health services.

This move would increase the cost of healthcare, at a time when we were finally starting to get it under control. Higher healthcare costs means higher deficits.

8. The Advanced Research Projects Agency, which provides support for Energy Department projects.

This essentially means we will continue to fall behind in the global race to replace fossil fuels. That means we are losing out on a major revenue stream, which means higher deficits and debt.

9. The National Wildlife Refuge Fund, which compensates communities for lost tax revenue when the federal government acquires their land.

I know Donny doesn’t care to buy up land; he just wants to use it free of charge. That’s how he ran his business in the private sector, and he thinks he can do the same here.

10. The Global Climate Change Initiative, a proposal that reflects Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

This is another example of Trump thumbing his nose at climate change to our detriment. Once again, the rest of the world is doing what is necessary to combat the effects of climate change, and they are generating revenue in doing so. Meanwhile, we fall further behind, which means we’re losing out on jobs, taxpayers and revenue. That pushes the deficit higher.

11. The NASA Office of Education, which provides grants to colleges and universities, museums and science centers. The funding would be redirected within NASA.

Yeah, why would we need educated people at NASA? Again, fewer high-paying jobs, less taxpayers, less revenue, higher deficit spending.

12. The Chemical Safety Board, which is tasked with investigating accidents at chemical facilities.

Given the number of really bad accidents at chemical plants in recent years, why would we need greater chemical safety? Not sure this will drive the deficit up, but it will make workers in many industries less safe.

13. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds service opportunities, promotes volunteering and helps nonprofit organizations find volunteers.

The Republican Party claims they don’t hate the poor, but this is a direct slap at them. These people assist the poor, the elderly and those with disabilities. Who benefits from cutting programs like this?

14. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds public television and radio stations including Public Broadcasting Service and NPR.

At last count, 82% of Americans watch PBS at least some of the time. This move saves each taxpayer about 33 cents per year. Another slap at the poor, and another slap at education, which means fewer productive taxpayers, less revenue and higher deficits. PBS is, after all, often where low-income children get their first bit of education. Again, a less educated workforce means fewer productive workers, fewer taxpayers and reduced revenue and increased deficits.

15. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which funds museums and libraries nationwide with grants.

Another slap at education, which means a slap at an educated workforce, which means fewer taxpayers, reduced revenues and a higher deficit.

16. The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides civil legal assistance for low-income individuals.

Another unconscionable slap at the poor and a major boon to landlords and others who make a living screwing those with little or no money. This means justice will cost too much for some people, which is against what America stands for. It also means people will lose jobs, meaning fewer taxpayers, reduced income and higher deficits.

17. The National Endowment for the Arts, which funds American artists and projects with grants.

18. The National Endowment for the Humanities, which provides grants to American humanities scholars.

The GOP has had these two on their wish list for decades. Neither one represents a major cost savings, but they represent “liberal” issues, like arts and humanities. That means education, and we know how much Republicans hate the well-educated, unless they have business degrees. Meanwhile, we will have more starving artists and an even greater level of ignorance on these subjects. That means artists and others will find it harder to make a living, which means they’ll pay less in taxes, which will add to the deficit.

19. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, which funds community development projects nationwide.

A lot of this money goes to small businesses. Since small businesses are the real “job creators,” it means fewer jobs created, and fewer small businesses means less revenue. Anyway you look at it, this means lower revenues and larger deficits.

20. The Denali Commission, the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Border Regional Commission, which fund infrastructure and economic projects in specified areas.

Once again, this means less development, which means fewer small businesses, fewer jobs and fewer taxpayers, which means a hit to the revenue stream and higher deficits.

21. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency, which provides U.S. goods and services for foreign projects.

Where do Trump and the Republicans think these “goods and services” come from? Someone has to produce them and sell them to the government. This means fewer contractors, less income from government contracts. It means a lot of small and large businesses will suffer greatly, and jobs will be lost, which means fewer people to pay taxes and even more to add to the deficit.

22. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank focused on international affairs and foreign policy.

This is just a hit to the concept of education and research, but it still means less education. In the long run, it will be detrimental to society and the economy.

The heart of the Republicans’ problem is two-fold. First, they refuse to see any government spending as investment. Their inability to see the return on investment is pathological. They seem to have no problem wasting money on weapons that are essentially pointless, but they have a problem with educating people and preparing them for a productive life. And that’s the second problem; they are incapable of seeing more than a year or two in the future. When Lord Donny’s staff produced this budget plan, they imagined saving $3 trillion in deficit spending. However, they did not take into account the lost businesses and jobs and the impact of lost educational opportunities, which will eventually result in lost economic opportunities, which means lost tax revenue and a greater need for deficit spending.

It makes one wonder; why are they incapable of seeing the results of spending? Why do they not see the positive results of government programs? Well, the answer to that is simple. Neocons have convinced themselves that government can’t do anything right, and they spend all their time governing trying to prove that correct. That is why they suck so badly at government.

Originally published at PCTC Blog.

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