FLYNN: Trump’s New Blueprint Clashes with Old Arguments

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Can there even be an America without the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness or the Institute of Museum and Library Service?

“America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” in cutting such federal programs, forces the president’s critics to ponder such weighty questions.

“This document is at once scary and uninformative,” the New York Times editorializes. “Taken at face value, it would impose pain for pain’s sake.”

CNN features a top-ten list of Trump’s “cruelest” cuts on its website. The list informs that Trump “makes clear that he assigns no value to the human cost of his policy choices.”

“Meet Mick Mulvaney, the Trump goon who wants poor kids to go hungry,” Sarah Jones writes of Trump’s budget czar at the New Republic. “Trump’s budget proposal is very good for his rich friends and very bad for poor people.”

Only the absence of the word “draconian” saves Ms. Jones’s analysis from detouring to complete Clichéville.

While its opponents rely on the same yellowing blueprint, Trump offers something—cuts—novel and new. He can mock the tried and tired strategy of his adversaries. But he can’t question its successful track record. Starving children and a cancelled Big Bird and NPR switching formats to EDM always and everywhere effectively rebuts dollars-and-cents arguments. Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan encountered such emotional tugs disguised as intellectual arguments. Donald Trump, who hopefully remembers Santayana’s quip about forgetting the past, now does, too.

Trump’s partial proposed budget reduces the State Department by 29 percent and the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. Folks with phony British accents in Foggy Bottom and Mother Nature’s gray-suited protectors working blocks from the White House perhaps should give thanks that Trump merely cut their outfits. Elsewhere, he eliminates.

Goners include the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation contains four good reasons in its name, and millions more in its budget, to defund it as a U.S. government program. Mysteriously, it never occurred to Trump’s predecessors to ax the U.S. Peace Institute or the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority,” Trump argues, “because without safety, there can be no prosperity.” The president’s budget certainly provides no safety for functionaries to function—or to enjoy their previous prosperity.

Without a National Endowment for the Arts, canvasses may not go blank. Without the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, water may not dry up. Without the Community Development Block Grant, neighborhoods may not burn.

But without it all, bureaucrats lose their posts and their purpose. Let them hector you in the confined space of the DMV or watch them hassle you everywhere, allow IRS agents a few weeks in April to make your life hell or permit it to last all year, grant them the funds for their own TV channel or watch them take over all TV channels with their complaints. Hell hath no fury like a public servant without a public to serve him.

The “human” cost to all this savings to the citizenry just might come at the expense of the taxpayers rather than the taxtakers. Maybe just best to pay them their ransom. We pay for it in withholding or we pay for it in the scolding.

Blah. Blah. Blah…. for the children…. Blah. Blah. Blah…. hits women and minorities hardest…. Blah. Blah. Blah…. rich get richer…. Blah. Blah. Blah.

We’ve heard it all before. If you don’t want to hear it again, give the bureaucrats their bureau full of cash. The African Development Foundation and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness may fall short of effectiveness with regard to their stated purpose. But in keeping busybodies busy, they do a terrific job.


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