You can read the proposed budget from the Heritage Group, here. (<= that is, the Washington Post’s description of the budget cuts and its affects). And, while there are a lot of angry people (which, inevitably, there would be), there are some good take away items. At least, from my humble perspective. …
- The budget we have is currently out of control. It has to be reigned in somewhere, somehow, and someway. It’s not an easy job.
- It is a little frustrating to see the budget being set by a group not involving Trump – because the question is raised as to whether or not he’ll blindly sign off or, maybe, actually read and understand the consequences? Either way, this needed to happen and I just hope Trump is on board with the reality of much needed change.
- Agriculture: If you look through the online world, for about 15 years, there has been a LOT of discussion about the over-reaching spending by the USDA. The cut to the WIC program by $200 million is surprisingly – not a lot. Without the amount of illegal immigrants in the country that were using that program freely, that could reduce the burden by 4x that much – so it’s a safe cut. The cut on food for education program is based on a lot of misinformation about how much goes into the overhead / administration of that program – and how little goes in the mouths of babes. So – it is time for it to be re-evaluated. A new program can crop up in its place – but this gets the abusers under control.
- Commerce Dept: NOAA cuts are both good and bad. We need an NOAA. But, as I have posted time and time again, 6-digit figure scientists with little to no contributions to operations merely eats up the programs. The same is true for Universities. I also posted about a slam from the government against my efforts to encourage some more fiscal accountability and scientific change because they have too many ‘insiders’, eating up money. Grants to struggling communities being cut? Yeah – go look at the breakdown of where that money actually went – and it is an overhead/administrative nightmare. Communities won’t be hurt by this – because they weren’t being helped.
- Defense Department increase: Hmmm … not sure. Maybe more military is good, maybe not? The REAL question is: will the military still be purchasing Hum-V’s and F-35 Strike Fighters at an inflated 6000%, or will that be reigned in? That’s something to watch for.
- Education Department: This was a LONG time coming. What some people don’t know about the “teacher training”, is how it was straining teachers. After school and summer programs are already a problem for schools and new agencies are needed to help – and this “may” be a way to get that ball rolling. We’ll need to watch. Aid programs to first generation and low-income students: there was a lot of discrimination and abuse going on – and I’ve already commented on this. There are some questions I have about charter schools, though. Charter doesn’t mean “better” – and it especially won’t if it’s flooded with more students!
- Energy Department – read above on the Commerce Department for my discussion on abusive government agencies. The Office of Science deserved this. Sorry – but if they couldn’t stop giving out wasted dollars to fledgling companies (by this, and as per my previous posts on this, I mean companies that are already wealthy, take money and produce no results, and ‘insiders’ who are friends of friends), and profiteer lobbyists, or start recognizing the purpose of SBIR grants (helping out the little people) – then they were going to suffer. And, my previous post covered this. As for energy star compliance – this was benefiting private corporations – not people. We need energy star compliance, but it’s as easy as passing a law to enforce it for manufacturers and not have to force every tax payer to pay for it so only a few get it!
- DHS (Department of Human Services) cuts – yay – for my own reasons. Meanwhile – the money being spent to give extra special, ongoing training to health professionals is more about keeping low-education workers doing the jobs of trained professionals. In some cases – that has been a Heaven send to the people (I’ve met some social care workers whose skills, abilities, and lack of judgment or snobbery has made them, in my own opinion, the cream of the crop). In others, it’s been a nightmare (wannabe, know-it-alls who are trying to look important and are willing to hurt innocent lives to do it). The entire program needs re-evaluated. As for the opioid LIE – well – I’m not happy about that and someone should do something to stop that garbage. I’ve posted on it before … but for now … I digress.
- The NIH cut – yeah – goes back to abusers of the system. We don’t need to build relations with foreign governments for health (the UN should be stopping pharmaceuticals and deadly vaccinations – not America – they need to stop abusive pharmaceutical tactics on the home front). All that has done is allow the dark side of American pharmaceuticals to hand out deadly vaccinations to third world countries causing more harm than good! Yes – MANY of those countries need help getting into the modern age of medicine. But, until the medical community reigns in its costs and the abusive pharmaceuticals – lives are on the line and cuts MUST be made!
- Increase Dept. of Homeland Security – ummm, I’m not 100% on board with this one, yet. The border wall – fine. Fees for TSA, when the TSA has actually never stopped a terrorist? This is a bunch of bull (and more problematic for travel, excuse-making for airlines, and not very helpful to the American way of life and commerce). I’m not sure what’s been going on with the air travel dilemma in this country (when what we actually need is a TSA just to govern the customer relations of United Airlines!!). But, until someone reigns in homeland security on cell phone spying – or email spying, etc., increases in funding is a problem for me. Yeah, I don’t want terrorists. Yeah, I don’t wanna be blown up. But, with all the online spying – it seems like Homeland Security has done less to prevent an attack than find someone after the fact. Maybe they have a good reason – but I’d like to know what it is if we’re paying for that. I don’t want to pay more for retroactive support.
- Dept. of Housing/Urban Development: This is a GREAT cut. Sure – many of you immediately assume I’m being a big meanie. But, nope. I, personally, am totally thrown to the wolves without these types of programs. Yet, before them, I was STILL totally thrown to the wolves. Why? They DON’T work. Affordable housing is a joke. Landlords are nightmares. Property managers are nightmares. And, I haven’t even begun to post on that LONG fight I waged (because of its enormity) – which was an attempt to help tens of thousands when a handful of people literally CRUSHED the poor, laughed in their face, and wiped their yuppie shoes off at their doorsteps – and then did it AGAIN! We NEED a NEW Urban development program. It HAS to be one in which the rich and “college students” aren’t even allowed to volunteer or be paid to administrate. Maybe then, $46.9 billion dollars – can be used to help people (of which ONLY $6.2 billion is being cut). Think about it – If we built NICE – and I MEAN, NICE, homes for folks at $150,000 a piece (land and house cost – and ask any REAL developer – that’s cheap), in good neighborhoods, with small lots of land, at $46.9 billion – that would fund 312 THOUSAND homes in ONE year. In 3 years, we would have put almost a million families in new homes. And, there are ways to cut those costs in half and put over 2 million families in new homes. Do you know how many new homes families have been put into in TEN YEARS? HAHAHAHAHAHA – No? Okay – around ten thousand or so. YES – 10 thousand (and this is REALLY rough as the full number’s never been calculated because obviously … yeah .. the truth would be known). A lot of people got some money for down payments (and then the big mortgage scandal screwed them ALL), but 10,000 instead of 1 MILLION? Yeah – big cut needed!
- Interior Department cuts: Well – not sure. Our national parks need help. But, 6 digit administrative overhead figures – again – is screwing the pooch. Maybe … just maybe … someone needs to tap on the shoulder of the uber wealthy geniuses and point out the real problems?
- Justice Department: Hmmm … well … not sure about this. Yeah, glade we’re cutting the federal prison construction. We have too many prisons and need a solution (yes, I have a highly effective one – no – I am not a PhD and have been turned down by our own government for some of those solutions that actually rehabilitate – but what I’m getting at is that there are financially viable and easily instituted solutions). Meanwhile, more money for the FBI? In some ways – good. In others – lots more taxes to screw people who don’t get services, but do freely get harassed, spied, on, etc. It probably means a lot of overseas services … *sigh*.
- Labor Department cuts – YAY. Senior community training programs? Do you know how many seniors have ended up in Walmart as their community training, only to be bullied while in there? This stupid effort needs new leadership and direction – and not 6 digit figure administrator direction. Closing a lot of Job Corps programs for teens: Some of that is good. Job training for disadvantaged youth is still discriminatory and does very little. For the 3 – 4 people that will scream about how it helped them – what about the other 30 million children? Public safety and health training is needed – but we need more volunteers (and improvements like a cut to the 9 digit red cross administrative overhead) – and the people need to do it. And, improper unemployment payments: I’ve seen some very rich people getting richer just because “they can” (according to the “calculations” by unemployment that hurt the low income workers), and the impoverished are paying for it. All of this is again, just another reminder – budget cuts are okay – but reform HAS to come with it.
- State Dept. and Treasury International. Keepin’ the money at home. ‘Bout time. Now … how to get that money back to the people? Hmmm…..
- Transportation – yeah – we need this. Amtrak has a long history of being a wealthy politician invested in and controlled agency, along with the investment and ownership of billionaire moguls (like Warren Buffet). They don’t NEED MORE taxpayer dollars! They NEED their wealthy investors to put money in and leave the people the heck alone! Subsidies for airports? What’s the $600 freakin’ ticket, $50 per bag charge, and now $6 TSA charge for? Someone’s pocket? TOO BAD. We’re paying to fly – not for someone to eat caviar while making poor people duel for a small hope of potentially being comfortable on a sardine-packed airplane! Apparently, American Airlines made $800 MILLION DOLLARS on CHANGED AND CANCELLED TICKETS. That’s $800 MILLION DOLLARS FOR NOTHING? WHY?. WHY would anyone give them subsidies from the pockets of the same taxpayers they are LITERALLY stealing from? The TIGER program? HAH! Go look up what they’ve funded, under “premier” wage jobs, that went to bidders with a special “insider privilege”, charging 4 to 5 times as much to do the work, cutting out 4 to 5 times the amount of transportation that SHOULD have been funded!
- Treasury Department: I’m sorely disappointed not to see the IRS go. No – don’t worry – they’ll see that comment and probably make my life hell. But, frankly, anyone working for the IRS already KNOWS they are unloved. It’s just one of those jobs … As for community development cuts . .. wasn’t that supposed to be part of the urban housing? Is there a mysterious, ineffective cross over / abuse of money going on? Yeah, there is. So – good cuts. Now – time for change.
- Department of Vet Affairs – on the rise! Yay for the vets. Sucky for my taxes. Torn on this one – but at least the vets will start getting treated well, and as long as it doesn’t give 6-digit figure generals with millions, more millions, and helps homeless wheel-chair vets (and others who didn’t get the privilege of huge salaries), I’m okay with that. Looks like somebody needs to watch that one … closely!
- EPA cuts! YES! Awesome. Climate change is a HUGE problem. Don’t be fooled. I work in the energy sector with renewables – and I do know first hand. But – the programs to affect supervision end up funding 6 digit figure administrative paper weights – NOT programs! Grants going to the rich (see the talk on the Energy department above) – not programs! Clean up programs? The government didn’t make the Great Lakes dirty. People and businesses, did. You want clean water again – GO OUT THERE AND FIX IT. Yeah, I know, maybe that sounds harsh – but I’ve taken my free time to walk the paths and hike and do just clean up – and if someone as lazy as me can do it – anyone can. But, what if you didn’t make the mess? Hold those businesses (that did) accountable and blockade their sales and shut them down. You didn’t do it? Make sure anyone who wants to use the lake, but doesn’t care enough to clean it, spends the money to hire people to do the work! The truth is that mostly, people did it, so people can clean it. Responsibility. It sucks – but if we didn’t stop it when it was happening – we’re also as equally responsible.
- NASA up! Wait … is that a pun? Nah … Well … this is okay under a few circumstances: A) We actually start going up to space and not sending people to Russia or feeding them donuts in Tennessee (ie 80 Astronauts with 6 – 9 digit figures who will NEVER see space!?!), B) We stop paying a billion trillion gazillion dollars per launch and reign in abusive commercialism (for example, Space X did more than the past 20 years of NASA and on a smaller budget, so, um, yeah – proof!), C) We stop paying 9 digit figure salaries to 50 administrative people per person to monitor one person for 100 different filings of the same paperwork (and to cover it up) – ’cause that’s not the type of organization that should be running a SPACE program “efficiently”, and D) NASA STOPS giving $65 billion to special interest companies with their hands in someone’s rear end and starts working with the people – ALL OF US. It can be done. Waste can be cut. This one though – needs to be watched. The cut in education – yeah. The cut in climate change – works. We need real solutions – not extraneous costs. Talk to the guys who work on the ground, with the reservoirs and water and land and who don’t make 6 digit figures – THEY know what’s happening – for REAL. Climate change is a problem but expensive salaries prevent the cure.
- SBA cuts – yeah. Not much to be said. Too much to the overhead and nothing to businesses. That’s why small businesses are dying. ‘Nuff said? MAJOR overhauls needed!
- Arts and Culture …. so … well, yeah, this is a hard one. Do you cut out medicaid, or cut out building dance studios just to see what life was like in Africa? No – I’m not racist. But, frankly, while we want cultural works – that should be the work of the people – NOT the government. It’s ridiculous to burden everyone for the privilege of a few (and I MEAN “privilege”, such as cultural arts for a specific ethnic group, not “needs” like education or health care). Supporting this is just like supporting wealthy elitists who stomp on the poor. As far as the arts, broadcasting, and the like … a lot of that is needed. But, there’s so much reform to be done, it’s mind blowing (commercialism is a bane on humanity!!). Still, would rather cut arts for now, keep people alive with medicaid and food, and then look to the future of bringing back new and better arts programs that are more equality balanced! Or … do you hate helping the handicapped?
So … there you have it. A measure by measure, action packed, thrilling commentary from a highly, unimportant and simple minded person (me!!). I think the point is this: the budget was wildly flung out of control because of a LONG TIME of abuse of power, apathetic people, a lack of regulations, and failure to enforce good laws (that is to say, America vs. Capitalism). So, we now have to cut where we don’t want to. However, you (the “peeps”), have a unique opportunity here to contact your representatives and rally in groups, not in street mobs with protestor signs like idiots (and I say that with love to only those specific few who do … follow foamy, you’ll understand – hail to the squirrely wrath!), but in real groups, and get the votes of millions to impeach those representatives that do not represent you and want to keep insider wealthy programs instead of good budget cuts like those recommended by the Heritage Foundation. Then, you can require your leaders to actually put into place programs to reign in all that waste and stupidity, so that the funding that remains is well spent.
Or – you’ll see this all come down to more cuts and more problems for everyone’s future – including yours. So … here’s that one moment in history when you have options.
Change is never easy. Nobody likes it. But, it’s part of evolution and life, so …
Which will you choose?
Thanks for reading!
“Ooh, an indoor winter, ice-skating park for penguins. Neat, General. How much did it cost?” “Johnny, It only cost eleventy gazillion dollars! I’m so proud …” – Johnny Test