Trump Budget

Trippin’ With Betsy


cjones04022019

One thing that’s been constant with the Trump administration is cruelty. From attacking a dead senator, feuding with Gold Star families, insulting women, racist slurs, shithole countries, encouraging rally participants to beat up up protesters, ripping families apart, throwing babies in jail and forcing them to go to court alone, to defending Nazis, this administration has been nothing but vicious and vengeful. Trump defender, former adviser, and another guy who was unable to get a security clearance probably because he creeps everyone the freak out said, “The era of the pajama boy is over,” shortly after Trump went into office. And so began the era of the asshole.

This week, Trump has started another initiative to repeal Obamacare without a replacement, which can leave 20 million Americans without health insurance. Trump promises to make the Republican Party the “party of healthcare,” but first, they’d have to actually care. Republicans actually campaigned during 2018 on keep coverage for pre-existing conditions, but they’re liars. Their pre-existing condition is that they’re assholes.

While meeting with Republican senators on Capitol Hill to celebrate his “exoneration,” Trump reportedly complained about how much money is being spent on Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria. According to a few witnesses, he lied about how much has been spent, citing $91 billion when in fact, only about $11 billion has been spent so far. Trump doesn’t care about the island since it’s not a state and it’s mostly made up of brown people. Trump believes the recovery was completed when he ran out of paper towels to throw at the island’s citizens. De nada, Puerto Rico.

At least there’s one thing that receives bipartisan support and that is the Special Olympics. Nobody could go after special needs kids, right? What sort of heartless, troglodyte monster could ever…oh yeah. This is the Trump administration which is well stocked with heartless, troglodyte monsters like Betsy DeVos.

DeVos is an education secretary who hates education. Now, she’s trying to eliminate the $17.6 million the federal government appropriates to the Special Olympics. Guess what. This is her third try.

The Special Olympics mostly relies on private philanthropy and it will survive without the government’s support. But, why yank away $17.6 million which is a small part of any federal budget? As it’s been pointed out elsewhere, this amount is about the same cost of four Trump golf trips to Mar-a-Lago. Maybe, if saving this money is so important, Trump could keep one campaign promise and stop spending his weekends playing golf and wanking off country club members (that’s in the brochure). We’re all inspired by the Special Olympics. Nobody gets inspiration from watching Cheeto Fatass cheat at golf.

The Special Olympics program is offered in 6,500 schools nationwide, which is a small fraction of the roughly 100,000 public schools in this nation. This cut would most likely make the number of schools participating drop. I don’t think we can afford that. If anything, we should greatly increase the budget for the Special Olympics. Maybe we can remove Secret Service protection from the Trump kids. Just make them all wear fake mustaches in public. I’d like to see that.

In all, DeVos is cutting $7 billion from education, including programs for the blind. Maybe she thinks because they’re blind they won’t see it. The secretary of education should be an advocate for education, not its destroyer.

DeVos struggled to defend the cuts while testifying Tuesday before the House Appropriations subcommittee. When Representative Mark Pocan asked whether DeVos knew how many children would be affected by cutting Special Olympics funding, DeVos said she did not know. Seriously. She doesn’t know and doesn’t care enough to be bothered to look it up. Just slash and burn, baby, yeah!

You would think that if you’re going to cut a program that affects, no, hurts special needs children that you would look into how many children you’re hurting. If nothing else, you would think she’d look it up before going to Congress to testify about it. Did DeVos forget that Republicans don’t control the House anymore? Facts are used now. Serious questions are asked. Cabinet members will no longer receive the Mar-a-Lago members treatment from Congress. For the record, that number is 272,000. That’s how many kids you’re hurting, Betsy.

DeVos defends herself from criticism by stating she donates her $200,000 a year salary and the Special Olympics is a recipient of this donation. That’s great and all but in case you’re a Republican, $200,000 is less than $17 million. I double checked. Also, DeVos is worth over $5 billion. $200 grand in charitable giving? Hell, she and her family spent over $8 million in donations to Republicans to buy the job she has now.

The Trump administration isn’t just working to make this nation meaner, but also dumber. It’s bad enough our nation has a president who’s an idiot, but his cabinet selections are fierce rivals in a contest of the most stupid. Have you seen Ben Carson or Rick Perry? If you want to make this nation dumber, installing someone like Betsy DeVos as secretary of education is a great star.

Between Trump and DeVos, I don’t know which one’s dumb and which one’s dumber, and now I’m having a hard time seeing which one’s more evil.

Creative note: I stole this cartoon from myself. I drew it last year or the year before and I can’t remember what the issue was. I also drew it in 1997 or ’98 while working for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The governor was feuding with the football coach of the University of Hawaii (I don’t remember why but it sounds so Trumpian), so I drew the guv tying the shoelaces of the coach. I didn’t look at either previous version to draw this one as it’s pretty much etched into my brain.

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Shooting The Bird


cjones03192017

While the Trump boys, Eric and Donald Jr., display their manly courage by having a tour guide take them by their hands to shoot fenced-in big game animals, Daddy Trump prefers bigger game.

Trump unveiled his proposed budget and it contains $54 billion in cuts all across the federal government to make up for increases mostly in defense spending. There’s also increases in Homeland Protection and Veteran Affairs.

What does he plan to cut? The State department (28%) and Environment Protection Agency (31%) will see huge cuts. There will be further cuts in HUD (13%), Transportation (12%), Health & Human Services (16%), Education (13%), Labor (20%), Agriculture (20%), Army Corps of Engineers (16%), Institute of Health (20%), Commerce (15%), and Interior (11%).

It also eliminates further programs in Waste & Water, Education, Science, NASA, FEMA, Affordable Housing, and payments to the United Nations’ climate change programs. Amtrak will also suffer. There will be decreased support to the World Bank and it cuts funding to the Clean Power Plan entirely.

It also eliminates ALL federal funding for Meals on Wheels (it does have other funding that’s not from the government), PBS, African Development, Appalachian Commission, before-and after-school programs, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay funding (hope you don’t like oysters or it shucks for you), Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, NASA’s Office of Education, and a hell of a lot of other programs. How long do you want this blog?

Basically the United States will get dumber, poor kids will get hungrier, and the Earth will get dirtier. But hey, our depleted military will finally be rebuilt.

Wait. What? Depleted military? I’m getting tired of hearing Trump and other Republicans bemoan our “depleted” military. Our military is the largest on the planet. In 2014 our nation spent $610 billion on defense. That’s 34% of what the rest of the world spends on their military. That’s nearly three times higher than China, the second-highest nation with an estimated $216 billion in defense spending.

The United States has 19 aircraft carriers (though the military says only 12 count as carriers). The rest of the world combined has nine and most of those aren’t close to American quality. Do you think Thailand’s one aircraft carrier scares the U.S. Navy?

There’s a lot of stuff that can be cut in the federal budget. Most of those departments targeted by Trump could probably do with some cuts. But to wipe out education, science, diplomacy (cuts to security for embassies and consulates, you know…kind of like the one that was in Benghazi), and even funding to the NYPD which is facing brutal costs protecting Melania while she stays in Trump Tower, is just ridiculous. It’s especially absurd to choose walls over books, food, clean air, science, stuff like that.

A lot of this spending will go toward Trump’s stupid border wall that will be soundly defeated by immigrants with shovels and ladders.

Trump and Republicans will focus on making America dumb again (dumber which will probably be more beneficial to their reelections than gerrymandering) and more polluted, but we’ll have the biggest guns in the world. Our military will also continue to have $38 screws, $7,600 coffee pots, $640 toilet seats, etc. Take that, Thailand!

Creative note: You have to extend me some creative license here. I know Big Bird and the rest of his Sesame Street cohorts are on HBO now and are no longer with PBS. But their image still represents educational programming as they were on public broadcasting for over 45 years.

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