Institute for Policy Studies - Once upon a time, the general-turned-president Dwight Eisenhower issued a famous warning: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” At stake is not the nation’s “money alone,” the former World War II commander observed, but “the hopes of its children.”
If that’s true, the Trump budget proposal is a colossal theft of hope. It proposes to buy guns, warships, and bombers at the expense of almost everything else — including the planet. It’s the starkest grab from butter to give to guns since World War II.
The proposal’s centerpiece is a nearly unprecedented military spending spree, raising the Pentagon’s base budget $54 billion over where it was last year.
That increase steals directly from much cheaper programs to provide meals for poor children and the elderly, as well as from medical research, affordable housing, and — ironically for a president that called himself “Mr. Infrastructure” — all the agencies that fund infrastructure. It would completely eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, which costs each American taxpayer less than a pack of gum but serves every district in the country, in a seemingly transparent effort to stifle dissent among the artists, librarians, and writers who build our cultural democracy.
The sadistic slashes include cutting job training and safeguards to ensure that factories and mines are safe for workers. Funding for the economic development of rural communities, including in Trump-friendly Appalachia, is cut deeply, and so are funds for distressed “inner cities” — each of which Trump has claimed to be a champion of.
Desperately needed funds for public schools will be funneled away to unaccountable private and charter schools. Rent and heating assistance for poor families is also on the chopping block.
These cuts to vital domestic programs come on top of years of deep cuts they’ve already endured. Leaving people in rural areas and distressed cities struggling without rent, heat, food, and good public schools — while tearing families apart with new resources for deportation — will leave nothing left for an overblown military or domestic militarized police forces to defend.