Trump’s “America First” Budget Is Like Trump Himself: A Fascist, Racist, Warmongering Piece of Shit That Puts the Whole Planet in Danger!!
March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
The Trump/Pence regime unveiled its first budget on March 16. Titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” it has an intro by Trump saying that the U.S. budget is “one of the most important ways the Federal Government sets priorities.” Indeed, two overall figures in the budget make clear what the “priorities” of the Trump/Pence regime are: a $54 billion increase in funding for the military—matched by $54 billion in cuts; cuts that will threaten every aspect of the lives of the people at the bottom of this society, especially Black, Latino, Native, and other oppressed people, and women, and accelerate the destruction of the environment as well.
The $54 billion jump in military spending is a key part of Trump’s vow to put “America First,” a fascist slogan from the 1940s that he revived in his Hitlerian inaugural speech and has now been stamped on the title page of his budget. Trump and his regime have made clear they intend to aggressively threaten the entire world with raw American power and war, including using nuclear weapons. Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director Mike Mulvaney said, “This is a hard power budget, and that was done intentionally. The President very clearly wants to send a message to our allies and to our potential adversaries that this is a strong power administration.”
As the Trump/Pence regime puts the world in their crosshairs, they are moving quickly and decisively to change the form of rule in this country to fascism. The domestic spending outlined in the Trump budget is part of this. The significant increases in domestic spending are dedicated to dramatically ramping up and unleashing the armed enforcers of law and order. That means pouring more money into intensifying the repression against immigrants through the building of the U.S.-Mexico border wall; hiring 1,500 more “immigration enforcement” cops for the Department of Homeland Security; building more immigrant detention centers; and more. And it also means increased spending on local law enforcement.
Cruel Cuts Target the People
But for the rest of government, draconian cuts are the order of the day—hitting government agencies and programs in every department, which will have cruel, devastating effects on the lives of tens of millions of people—especially the poor, elderly, women, and oppressed Black, Latino, Native, and other nationalities who are already living on the edge under this system. The cold-hearted cuts will also mean more suffering for poor white people—including in the very places like the Appalachian Region where some were misled into voting for Trump.
These budget cuts go along with other measures being carried out in Congress, like the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act set up under Obama, which is projected to result in 14 million people losing any kind of health insurance by next year, including people on Medicaid. Again, this hits the elderly, poor, and oppressed and women the hardest; for instance, half of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. The Trump/Pence regime has also set its sights on de-funding Planned Parenthood—which is a major attack on women’s right to abortion and birth control but also on a range of health care, especially for millions of poor women and women from Black, Latino, and other oppressed groups.
The Trump budget cuts are also aimed at gutting or eliminating altogether crucial research and programs related to climate change and other scientific endeavors, as well as non-commercial art and broadcasting.
Trump's budget plan will cut $1.2 billion from funding after-school programs that involve more than 2 million kids. Here, kids in a Kentucky after-school program, 2012. (Photo: AP)
Family shops in Lafayette, Indiana, with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) checks for specific food items that meet certain guidelines. Trump's budget cuts will reduce funding for the Special Nutrition Program for WIC. (Photo: AP)
In this system of capitalism-imperialism we live in, there is no “right to eat” or “right to housing” or “right to health care”—if people can’t earn wages by being profitably exploited or find some other ways to provide for their means, they are left to be hungry, homeless, or be deprived of medical care, no matter how dire the need. While this was certainly so under Obama, there was at the same time rhetoric from officials about concern for people in desperate situations, and some formal acknowledgement that there continued to be inequality and discrimination in society that affect minorities and women. And there were some steps taken to provide minimum levels of a social “safety net” for the poor, as inadequate as this was.
Now, the cuts in domestic programs mandated in the Trump budget point to a very different approach. Here are just some of the Trump cuts:
- The Community Development Block Grant, which gave money to states to spend on affordable housing, anti-poverty, food, and other programs, will be totally axed. One program affected by this would be Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to home-bound elderly so they can eat.
- $1.2 billion in “savings” will come from eliminating funding for after-school programs that involve more than two million kids. Mulvaney claimed there was “no demonstrable evidence” that these programs actually help children, as if feeding hungry children has to be "justified" by higher test scores! (And in fact, academic studies have shown those programs reduce rates of kids dropping out of school and have other positive effects.).
- Funding for the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will be reduced. Latinos make up 40 percent of WIC recipients, Black people about 20 percent, and Native people about 12 percent.
- Trump would erase the funding for the Legal Services Corp., which provides grants to nonprofits that provide legal aid for poor people in cases like fighting wrongful eviction.
- Many housing assistance programs are targeted for cuts or elimination, including Habitat for Humanity, homeless assistance, and overall for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Funds for public education are facing major cuts; but there is additional funding for “school choice” programs—which is in line with Trump’s and his education secretary DeVos’s aims to further gut public schools and build up private schools to indoctrinate kids in the Christian fascist outlook.
The list of such mean-spirited cuts, affecting the most oppressed in society the hardest and in horrid ways, goes on and on. And they are in line with the Trump/Pence regime’s moves to reassert open white supremacy as the “norm” in society, as part of its overall fascist agenda.
Removing Restraints on Rapacious Environmental Destruction
Under Obama, while the capitalist system continued to carry out environmental destruction like pumping out greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels that is driving the globe toward a climate catastrophe, there was rhetoric about the need to deal with global warming and some secondary steps taken to enact some limits on emissions and enter into international climate agreements. Now, the Trump budget basically disembowels the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 30 percent cut in funds. These cuts will affect things that the EPA is supposedly responsible for, like cleaning up lead contamination—which will mean more people poisoned and neurologically damaged, like the children in Flint, Michigan. And the cuts will affect programs relating to climate change—like the one to monitor emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry. Cuts in other agencies under the Trump budget aim to basically shut down government research on climate change. If allowed to continue, this will be a complete nightmare for the planet and human well-being at a time when segments of the natural world are already collapsing.
Yet another cut in the Trump budget aims the fire at both the health of the people and scientific research—a 20 percent drop in funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which supports research on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other medical problems that affect many, many people here and around the world. The vice chancellor for science policy at the University of California, San Francisco, a leading medical research facility that carries out significant NIH-funded work, called the cuts “tremendously shocking.”
Killing Public Arts and Broadcasting
While U.S. capitalism-imperialism has always been characterized by white supremacist and patriarchal relations, Obama and the section of the ruling class associated with the Democrats claim to uphold, and to some extent give expression to, “multiculturalism,” “inclusiveness,” and liberal secularism. These are now under full-scale assault by the Trump/Pence fascists, who are nakedly promoting and mobilizing a fascist social base around a rabid “America First” celebration of American military might and a violently repressive attitude toward all those who do not “fit in,” or submit to, the new white Christian fascist 'norm' that they are trying to impose on society.
In the Trump budget, one way this finds expression is in the complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and wiping out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Trump/Pence fascists portray such public cultural and broadcasting programs as “wasteful.” But the fundamental reason why they are under the gun is that the fascists see them as arms of other sections of the ruling class that they have some sharp conflicts with, even as they share the overall goals of protecting and extending the U.S. empire. And the fascists want to squash these institutions and areas in society where progressive and radical artists, filmmakers, and others have had some limited but still important space to do their work and reach audiences.
A Fascist Juggernaut
These savage cuts in social programs, environment protection, public arts and broadcasting, and so on are unprecedented. And the Trump/Pence regime intends them to be deliberately shocking. This is part of the logic of this fascist juggernaut. In order to press forward with their agenda and what they see as the only solution to the deep and urgent contradictions and dangers facing U.S. capitalism-imperialism, they face the necessity of smashing what were previously considered the “norms” in society.
As “Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period“ from the Central Committee, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, says:
The imposition of different and more oppressive cohering norms in society, the escalated, violent, and viciously cruel attacks on sections of people, the trampling of civil and legal rights, the mobilization of violent fascist social bases, require, contribute to and are part of this dynamic and momentum of the fascist juggernaut. Precisely because of this dynamic, the scope and space for protest and even dissent is undermined by a fascist juggernaut on the move, with a constantly weakening basis for the masses of people to fight, to resist―even as the horrors of fascism accelerate and accentuate!
For these reasons above, the fascist regime needs to be DRIVEN OUT before it consolidates! This is the NECESSITY of the moment!
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