Let’s Talk Budget.

CREDIT: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress.

CREDIT: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress.

A person could easily conclude that budget is a nebulous abstract to the likes of Trump, which wouldn’t be terribly problematic if he was lost deep in his conman empire, but understanding a budget and how one works is crucial knowledge in the working of a government. To say that no one has been impressed with the Tiny Tyrant’s notion of budget is one hell of an understatement. It seriously underscores just how very unqualified he is, and it’s a terrible highlight on his base incompetency.

In his initial budget document released on Thursday, President Donald Trump called for huge reductions in government spending. Beyond simply handing some agencies and programs less money to work with, he wants to completely eliminate 78 programs — including the Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Services Block Grant, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Minority Business Development Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, United States Institute of Peace, and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

All told, the money saved from the functions that Trump wants to eliminate comes to just under $23.6 billion, according to a ThinkProgress analysis.

That may sound like a lot of money, but it’s not even half of the increase in funding he wants to give to the military: $54 billion. The United States already spends more on defense than the next seven largest military budgets around the world combined.

The sum is also dwarfed by the size of the tax cut that Trump has proposed enacting, which would cost the government $341 billion in the first year and $6.1 trillion over a decade. Under that plan, the poorest families would get just $110 in annual tax relief, while the richest 0.1 percent of Americans would get more than $1 million in one year.

The amount of money saved by eliminating these government programs wouldn’t even be enough to pay for the construction of Trump’s border wall, the price for which has been put at $25 billion. [Also see this about the idiotic fucking wall. – Caine.]

Even rethuglicans are flinching over the idea of dropping yet more money into military – even they know it’s bloated beyond excess. This is nothing more than an ego exercise on the part of Tiny Trump, who feels the need to have the bigliest toys, oh yes. Then there’s that tax cut. Wow, a whole $110 bucks a year. Well, most of us know just how far you can stretch a hundred bucks, right? Everyone will be fine on that big ol’ bonus for a year. (If you’re hard of sarcasm, insert a YUGE near-fatal eyeroll here.) Whereas, the filthy rich will get … more than one million a year! Wow, no disparity there, no sir. Y’know, I can’t even be sarcastic enough for this godsawful shit anymore. I need a sarcasm upgrade, more than weapons grade, so can I get in on that military money? It’s not enough to completely strip people of their healthcare, to kill off services for mentally ill people, to kill off pretty much every slim little safety net there was, to destroy any possibility of an education, let alone a good one, oh no, not enough. Let us toss those stupid little peons one hundred and ten dollars a year, while we shuffle the big bucks, and laugh all the way to our mansions.

I am reminded of the Marquis St. Evrémonde, played deliciously by Basil Rathbone, in the 1935 movie, A Tale of Two Cities:

Unfortunately, this is not a movie we are dealing with. This is a horror of reality, which is going to be just that for many millions of people, a horror. People who are already struggling will be locked into that struggle, with no hope of surcease.

Several of the programs Trump wants to cancel have very small price tags and very large impacts. Trump’s decision not to spare even these high-efficiency connections between the government and its people is impossible to justify in budget terms, given their low costs. Instead, these cuts seem to represent a philosophical choice to derail things the president doesn’t believe in doing — even if they help people.

There are murmurs of how unfeasible this budget is, but so far, no one has had the strength of character or the moral conviction to do the right thing. That’s what happens when you end up with republicans in charge. There might be a few weak protests, some workarounds, but in the end, no one will stand. This can be seen in the ramming through of the Health fuck you Care Plan, in spite of a minor muttering of objections. There’s a definite temptation to think that they all just want to rush the shit through, get it over with. In the end, that’s a rosier thought than the realization that most of them don’t have a problem with any of it. What will actually happen with the budget remains to be seen, but if there’s one thing I think we can all count on, it won’t be good news for all us common folk.

Think Progress has the full story.


  1. says


    see, That’s how you’re going to pay for healthcare!

    Yep! That will just about cover one office visit.

  2. says

    It’s those “tax and spend” democrats!!! Because ‘fiscal conservatives’ want to “cut taxes and spend” ‘cuz that, like, totally works.

  3. Johnny Vector says

    Let me look at that list again. Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with the budget. It’s just pure reagent-grade hippie punching.

  4. says

    Where the hell would I put it?

    Good point. They’re giving the damn things away.

    See that $23b they’re cutting? They’re giving Israel $38b in weapons, including a bunch of money so Israel can buy F-35s so they can claim that they’re selling like hotcakes.

    I wish I could get you on that gravy train somehow, but you’re not apartheid enough, or violent enough, or … something.

  5. Robert Serrano says

    I don’t suppose that any of these republicans have noticed yet that they all act like the spendy housewife from a really sexist 50’s comedy, has it?

  6. chigau (違う) says

    Caine #5

    Where the hell would I put it?

    It would probably fit out back, if you dug a hole for the wheels.
    You could turn it into a rat colony.

  7. mostlymarvelous says

    Just a noteworthy moment from a teev program I watched earlier. The Community Services Block Grant proposed to be eliminated includes the Meals on Wheels program that provides food to elderly people.

    One commentator wanted to be sure that we all understood the implications and consequences. 1 year, that’s one whole year, of Meals on Wheels supplied to one elderly person costs the same as one *day* of hospitalisation.

    (My take on that? Whatever might be saved by cutting the program will be completely obliterated by the small but significant numbers of people who will be hospitalised for a couple of days or a week due to malnutrition or food poisoning or other food related health problems.)

  8. Johnny Vector says

    “I’m just not seeing results from Meals on Wheels.”

    “Sir, your eyes are closed.”

    “Shut up.”

  9. says

    Meals on Wheels costs the same for a year as each one of Trumps weekend trips. Villany: cartoon villain level.

    But you got to admire Trump’s genius plan on how to stop both tax fraud by the superriches and welfare fraud by the poor: he simply abolishes both.

  10. johnson catman says

    So, the 0.1% gets a tax break of $114 per hour but poor citizens get $110 per year. Yeah, that seems fair.

Leave a Reply