In my previous TRUMP WATCH (#16), I wrote:
“I suggest that as citizens and voters, we ignore the chatter about whether, when, and how Trump may leave office and instead engage in knowledgeable and effective resistance to the right-wing Republican agenda that has already begun to work its way through congress and numerous state governments.”
Well, just this morning I was greeted by a front page New York Times story that exactly describes an important piece of that agenda: “Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget.” (See below.)
The article makes clear that elimination of the programs slated for defunding or significant cuts under the budget being prepared for Trump by his budget director, conservative budget hawk and former congressman, Mick Mulvaney, would do virtually nothing to reduce the size of the government’s budget or the deficit.
The article describes how many of these programs--- the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities--- have long been targets of conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation and conservative congresspersons, beginning with then-House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich’s 1994 efforts and, carried on since 2010 by the many Tea Party Republicans elected to Congress.
What the article fails to make clear, in my opinion, is why such programs have drawn the ire of conservatives whose claims that they are a misuse of American taxpayer’s money are palpably and transparently false.
I would suggest that we need look no further for a reason for this antipathy than the fact that most of these programs are perceived as threats to the American oligarchy of white billionaires and politicians who control the lives of poor, less educated, Americans. For example, CPB promotes knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues that the oligarchy would prefer people not understand; Legal Aid provides legal counsel to those who cannot afford it, and thus may enable them to sue over-zealous policing; AmeriCorps is focused on empowering poor and minority communities; the National Endowment supports artists who might deign to criticize the establishment.
I urge you all to do everything you can to save these programs (and others) instead of wasting your time and emotional energy on Donald Trump. He is his own worst enemy and will bring himself down.