A lot less for the diplomatic niceties

Trump’s budget proposals are what you’d expect from a loathsome human being like him.

If Americans were taken aback by the restrained, highly scripted President Trump that addressed Congress last month, they should recognize a lot more of the blustery, law-and-order candidate they elected in the budget blueprint the White House released on Thursday.

“If he said it on the campaign, it’s in the budget,” the president’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters in a Wednesday briefing previewing the proposal’s release.

That means more money—some $54 billion in extra defense spending—for the military generals Trump loves to quote so much, and a lot less for the diplomatic niceties and programs combatting climate change that he so often dismissed. The State Department sees a 28 percent cut in the administration’s budget request, with a chunk of it coming from foreign aid. “It is not a soft-power budget,” Mulvaney explained. “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.”

That’s a prettified way of saying Trump wants to send a message to everyone that he believes in force and force alone. That’s a useful stance to take, in international relations and in life. Don’t ask, just grab them by the pussy. Don’t be bashful, tell malicious lies about people on Twitter. Don’t give reasons, just keep repeating your assertions. Don’t answer reporters’ questions, insult them instead. Don’t mess around with diplomacy and foreign aid, just bomb the shit out of everyone.

The Trump administration wants to eliminate federal funding of 19 agencies and commissions, including the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Legal Services Corporation, the Institute of Peace, and an interagency council on homelessness. Some of those have long been targets of conservatives in Congress, but Democrats are expected to fight aggressively for their preservation, and it’s likely they retain majority support to continue.

Beyond the programs targeted for elimination, the Trump budget puts nearly every domestic Cabinet department on the chopping block. In the Department of Education, dozens of school and teacher grant programs would go, and the popular college work-study program would see significant cuts. In the Department of Commerce, NOAA gets slashed by billions, including the complete elimination of $250 million in grants for coastal and marine management. Funding for the National Institutes of Health—an agency with some of the most bipartisan support in Congress—would drop by nearly $6 billion, a cut [of] 18 percent.

The pundits say lots of this won’t fly, but of course Donnie is (according to him) a genius negotiator, so no doubt what does fly will be bad enough.

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