Thursday, January 19, 2017

Will Important Federal Programs Be On the Chopping Block?

On January 19th, the Hill reported that two members of Trump's transition team, Russ Vought and John Gray, were discussing budget cuts with the White House budget office. The proposed budget cuts, which would reportedly reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years, are alarming.

The proposed budget cuts listed in the Hill article include:

  • Privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

  • Elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities

  • Major funding reductions for the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce.

  • Funding cuts and program eliminations for the Departments of Justice, State, and Transportation

It gets worse. Vought and Gray previously worked for the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, according to the Hill. The proposed budget changes strongly resemble those described in a budget "blueprint" published last year by the Heritage Foundation*, the Hill reports. In The Budget Book: 106 Ways to Reduce the Size & Scope of Government, the Heritage Foundation proposed even more horrifying budget cuts, including:

  • Elimination of all Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants

  • Elimination of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

  • Elimination of grants within the Office of Justice Programs

  • Elimination of Titles II, VI, and VIII of the Higher Education Act

  • Phasing out Head Start

  • Elimination of the Renewable Fuel Standard, regional EPA programs, the EPA's environmental justice programs, and multiple EPA climate programs
After the inauguration, Americans must keep a close eye on the Trump administration's budget proposals. If the administration's proposed budget conforms to the Heritage Foundation's budget blueprint, vital crime victim services, educational programs, environmental programs, and stewards of the arts would be on the chopping block. Free expression, media, public safety, and the educational attainment of the next generation would all suffer greatly. This outcome is unacceptable.

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

Chicago Tribune: Cutting the NEA is first move to eliminate a free, open public realm

Media Matters for America: Corporation For Public Broadcasting: Reported Trump Privatization Plan Would Be “Devastating” To Public Media

The Hill: Arts groups gear up for fight over NEA

* Blueprint for a Balanced Budget 2.0, written by the Republican Study Committee, also warrants attention.


  1. There are a lot of reasons for people to raise hell. These are just some of them.

    1. Jono -- Count on it. We'll have endless reasons to raise hell for the next four (eight?) years.


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