Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Billionaires Have Decided…

…What is best for the country. The Trump transition team has been working on the budget not with a hatchet but with a very large ax.
Trump team prepares dramatic cuts
The Hill
By Alexander Bolton
January 17, 2017

Donald Trump is ready to take an ax to government spending.

Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned.

The changes they propose are dramatic.

The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition.
The Heritage Foundation is supported by the Koch brothers who have donated millions of dollars to the foundation. The foundation has strong conservative leaning, some would say even libertarian.
Yet it could be very difficult to reduce U.S. debt without tackling the entitlement programs. Conservative House budgets have repeatedly included reforms to Medicare and Social Security, arguing they are necessary to save the programs.
Medicare and Social Security are NOT entitlement programs! We paid for every dollars in the fund and the Republicans went to scrap it and make a voucher program out of Medicare so that their billionaire friends on Wall Street can get their grubby hands on all that money. They want to push out the retirement age for Social Security until you’re 70 years old and hope that you will die off quickly so they don’t have to pay out your money to you.

Look where they want to cut…
At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the State Department’s jurisdiction, funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are candidates for elimination.
If you look at the federal budget, all these programs are a drop in the bucket! The 2015 spending including both discretionary and mandatory spending; Education, 3%, HUD, 1%; State Department, 2%, and Department of Energy & EPA, 1%.

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