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Donald Trump’s sharp budget ax: Now the swamp fights back

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And away we go folks!  The ink on Trump’s budget isn’t even dry yet and the lobbyists have already left the starting gate hitting up the Swamp’s politico’s to fight back and the media attack dogs blistering the headlines with stories about how everybody is going to suffer!

I love these cuts because they don’t belong in a federal budget to start with, and I love all of the cuts not mentioned in this story for the same reason.  Problem is, some of them are not as big or drastic as they should be!

Kill Obamacare and do not resurrect it!  Let the states determine and fund what they feel is necessary for their citizens…start from scratch!  Kill the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Education, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and any other agency not mandated in the Constitution, and again, let the states handle their own issues.  And good for the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson for his agreement with Trump on slashing the over-bloated State Department’s foreign aid fund!

Now, will this budget survive intact?  No chance in hell…because liberals will fight tooth-and-nail to keep their socialist agenda on course and The People under their control.  And unfortunately, even some conservative swamp-infesters are circling their tails to protect their hides and ensure the votes are there for their next election.



Now we’re talking real money.

With President Trump detailing the budget cuts he would make to pay for his sharp rise in defense spending, the battle for control of the swamp is getting under way.

The apocalyptic reaction, led by the media, reminds me of 1981, when Ronald Reagan proposed what were then described as draconian proposals to slash the budget. Trump’s cutbacks are far larger. And it’s worth noting that while Reagan got much of what he wanted, the federal budget wound up being bigger by the end of his tenure, and he didn’t eliminate a major agency.

But even the smaller cuts that Trump wants to make are hard because every program in that gargantuan budget has a fiercely loyal constituency backed up by lobbyists who know how many jobs would be lost and in which congressional districts.

Those who don’t want their programs slashed have a built-in PR advantage. They can generate coverage of real-life victims who would be hurt by the withdrawal of this or that federal subsidy, while the other side has to make abstract arguments: Government is too wasteful, the deficit is out of control, we’re living beyond our means.

A Washington Post headline: “Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor.”

A New York Times headline: “Trump Proposes Eliminating the Arts and Humanities Endowments.”

A Huffington Post headline: “Trump Government Bloodletting.”

A BuzzFeed headline: “Slash and Bird”—with a picture of Big Bird, since Trump would end aid to PBS, along with National Public Radio.

Some of this is part of a culture war, and Republicans have tried before to zero out PBS. While big-city stations and programs like “News Hour” and “Sesame Street” would survive, some of the smaller of PBS’s 350 stations would be faced with extinction.

Another Washington Post story ticks off some of the subsidized services that lower-income people rely upon:

“If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you.” It “would slash or abolish programs that have provided low-income Americans with help on virtually all fronts, including affordable housing, banking, weatherizing homes, job training, paying home heating oil bills, and obtaining legal counsel in civil matters.”

A New York Times piece says that many Trump voters would be among those penalized:

“Some of the budget losers, it turns out, may be some of the very constituencies that have been most supportive of the new president during his improbable rise to power.

“While border guards will have more prisons to lock up unauthorized immigrants, rural communities will lose grants and loans to build water facilities and financing to keep their airports open. As charter schools are bolstered, after-school and summer programs will lose money. As law enforcement agents get more help to fight the opioid epidemic, lower-income Americans will have less access to home energy aid, job training programs and legal services.”

All this is true. It’s also the price that must be paid to slim down government—although Trump is demanding deeper cuts in part to offset his proposed $54-billion boost in defense spending and his planned tax cuts.

Of course, some agencies employ the Washington Monument defense, singling out the services that will most outrage the public as opposed to the training and research programs where much of the fact may lie. (No threat to close the monument this year, since it’s already shut down for repairs.)

It’s reminiscent in some ways of the ObamaCare debate, where the rallying cry of repealing the program is being tempered by the impact on millions of Americans who could lose their coverage.

No president gets everything they want in a budget. But by taking an ax to so many programs, Trump has created a major test with Congress in what is likely to be an unsympathetic media climate.


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  1. Angus Rangus March 17, 2017 at 7:45 AM -  Reply

    The “arts”… meaning rabid progressive liberal loon commie – NPR / PBS / etc.??

    WHY wouldn’t HollyWeird handle this as chump change – since they are the ones writing the Commie scripts used in each and every minute of “public” indoctrination ??

    OK, cutting $4.7 BN down to $17.9 BN sounds heroic…
    … but…
    … $6.2 BN is for WIC… which belongs in HHS – and duplicates SNAP/EBT/Medicaid??
    … $2.4 BN is for Wildland Fire Suppression… which belongs in Interior – and should be mostly “states” IF you give them back control of their lands???

  2. Old Jim March 17, 2017 at 7:48 AM -  Reply

    DID OMB use the annual summary to slice and dice :

    1. $125 BN Waste, Fraud & Abuse summarized by Fed Dept?

    2. $125 BN Redundancy, Overlap and Duplication summarized for every Fed Dept?

    THAT is 75% of the deficit of any GW Bush budget we should be back to as starting points??

    Simply, it ain’t coming out … unless stripped out on purpose. IF you can detail by Federal Dept and program – you are quite certain it exists and is not needed!

  3. uniwersity of barsoom at helium grad March 17, 2017 at 7:53 AM -  Reply

    Eliminate going BELOW ZERO on any Federal Income Tax liability!!

    Consider how duplicitous it is using President TRUMP’s own 2005 tax return…
    … he wasn’t allowed to get to zero with legit deductions – Congress conceived the Alt Min Tax to prevent that?
    … citizens must carry forward their investment losses against years with a tax liability?
    … BUT half the half not currently paying FIT are getting ‘pre-applied’ EITC / Refundable Tax Credits – ie, IRS sends that single mom with 3 kids by different dads $5,400 we see bragged about on TV – and her payroll taxes were ZEROED??

    You need welfare … apply!! Quit using the IRS as another deficit financing income redistribution scheme!

  4. uniwersity of barsoom at helium grad March 17, 2017 at 7:58 AM -  Reply

    Having eliminated GOING BELOW ZERO…
    … and now with huge budget surpluses…
    … let’s pay down that $20 Trillion Nat’l Debt that is going to eat some lunch with higher interest rates this very year!!

    BUT, we also need to re-examine WHY are Seniors’ Social Security and private pensions being treated as “EARNED INCOME”??

    YEP… Duplicitous LUDICROUS Maximus – taxing the GOVT pensions you failed to fund in the first place and can’t afford to pay past 2023 and can’t COLA and can’t charge legit Part B “premiums” since you claim Seniors can’t afford to pay them??

    EVERY Citizen should go to… and read the entire 62 page OMB Budget Summary for 2018!!

    OK… not until after we celebrate St. Pattie’s Day!

  5. Angus Rangus March 17, 2017 at 8:29 AM -  Reply

    OK… review the line item detail of the $59 BN Education…

    … they are silent as to continuing more than half that for FREE FOOD ALL DAMN DAY LONG!!

    You got SNAP/EBT… put a PBJ in a brown bag for your “moneymakers”!!

    $13 BN for IDEA… ‘states’ can handle their own just nicely – isn’t is pretty much a similar % of total students for each??

    Does ANY state need the 10% Federal Funds they each get for ‘edumukating’ their students??

    HINT: IF you enforce Federal Immigration Laws… few would build a new classroom the next decade!!

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