Add 54 billion to the military, cut taxes, what is left? The Arts, Humanities and Science
President Trump made good on a long-time conservative goal in his first proposed budget Thursday morning, trading a 54 billion dollar increase in defense spending for draconian cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and the NIH. Trump has said The budget chops funding for the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion, or close to 20 percent. The arts and humanity budgets are scheduled for complete elimination. Even the Smithsonian is targeted for major cuts. Other science cuts include 900 million from the Energy Department’s office of science, elimination of funds for DOE efforts to develop more advanced forms of nuclear reactors,.
The worst news may be for the National Science Foundation. The NSF is not mentioned anywhere in the Trump budget document. The agency received about $7.5 billion in 2017. Although it has traditionally attracted bipartisan support in Congress, Republican lawmakers have ridiculed many areas of NSF funding. NSF is already struggling to cope with the federal hiring freeze that instituted in January after Trump’s inauguration. The NSF is scheduled to move its headquarters later this year, and an internal survey suggests that 17% of its 2,000-person staff plans to leave within the next two years because of this. The hiring freeze would prevent the agency from replacing many of these employees if they follow through on plans to leave.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) says this is another Trump disaster, like the Obamacare mess. “I think one of the reasons they’re proposing them [big spending cuts] is that they know they won’t ever get through,” said . “They know they’d be a disaster for their own party if they did. It makes for a great talking point. It actually fits on a tweet.”