On Monday, the Trump administration released its second budget proposal since the belligerent businessman took office, and again, it’s chock full of components that make it clear just how the Trump administration’s priorities lie someplace separate from average Americans.
For the second time, the White House has proposed eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a government entity that provides financial support for public broadcasting across the country through such platforms as PBS and NPR.
In response to the president’s proposal, president and CEO of the CPB, Patricia Harrison commented that “elimination of funding to CPB would at first devastate, and then ultimately destroy public media’s ability to provide early childhood content, life-saving emergency alerts, and public affairs programs.”
‘Public media benefits all Americans — whether they live in small towns, rural communities or large urban areas… Federal funding allows public media to continue to tell America’s changing story in a way that enhances civic engagement and connects us to one another… We will continue to raise awareness in Congress and the Administration about the valued content and services local public television and radio stations provide to their communities and the vital role federal funding plays in supporting them.’
It’s not as though this is the first time that the president has shown his disregard for the diversity of the American experience. Such disregard quite literally defines his presidency. From the racist “jokes” about Native Americans to the moves to curtail the rights of LGBT Americans, President Trump has shown himself to be no friend of the underprivileged, a group including those serviced by programs like those on NPR and PBS.
America’s Public Television Stations head Patrick Butler commented similarly to Harrison, noting the comparatively very small part that funding for CPB plays in the overall budget.
As he put it:
‘Fortunately, Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, and the overwhelming majority of their constituents, understand these contributions — and our impressive return on the investment of one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget — very well.’
White House budget proposals aren’t law. Rather, they have to be approved by Congress, and considering the fact that last time the president proposed ending funding for CPB, Congress declined to go along, the prospects for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting remain good at present.
It’s ironic for the Trump White House to propose — again — slashing funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting when he wants to put up a wall in between the U.S. and Mexico that would cost tens of billions of dollars and would likely prove to be not at all helpful for any policy goal.
There are other incendiary components to the latest Trump budget proposal besides the proposed cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
For instance, although again these proposals have to be passed by Congress, Trump proposes cutting the “Low Income Home Energy Assistance,” or LIHEAP, program, which is meant to assist low income Americans with their energy costs.
Ironically fittingly, the White House also proposes cutting funding for the U.S. Institute of Peace in half.
It’s not as though Trump has expressed much of a commitment to peace, having antagonized the heavily armed North Korean regime for some time at this point.
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