A Train Wreck in Slow Motion

The New York Times has an overview of the kakistocracies budget proposal, and again I’m confused about why so many people agree with the philosophy underlying the actions proposed.

The quotes below are rearranged to better illustrate the connection between the proposals.

Education ⬇︎–$9.2 billion

The budget illustrates a full-throated support for school choice programs championed by Education Secretary Betsy Devos. It includes a $1.4 billion increase for public and private school choice programs while eliminating funding for before- and after-school and summer programs. Federal work-study would also be “significantly reduced” while the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which is reserved for college students with the greatest need for financial aid, would also be eliminated.

In general, anything that takes away from creating a well educated populace is wrong.

Environmental Protection Agency ⬇︎–$2.6 billion

The E.P.A. is among the hardest-hit agencies. The budget calls for the elimination of about 3,200 staff positions — over 20 percent of the department. It would also eliminate all funding for enactment of the Clean Power Plan, the regulations designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. It would also discontinue funding for climate change research and international climate change programs.

State and other development programs ⬇︎–$10.9 billion

Climate-change initiatives at the United Nations would lose all their U.S. funding.

Energy ⬇︎–$1.7 billion

The budget would cut or eliminate programs to support research of breakthrough clean energy technology, including the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program.

Agriculture ⬇︎–$4.7 billion

President Trump wants to reduce funding for the department by making cuts to the National Forest System and by eliminating loan and grant programs for water and sewage systems.

Commerce ⬇︎–$1.5 billion

The budget eliminates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s grants and programs for coastal and marine management, research and education and eliminates the Minority Business Development Agency, which supports minority-owned businesses.

At one point I thought that everyone understood that environmentalism is good, and pollution is bad. I was under the impression that everyone knew that smog would kill us, and acid rain destroyed ecosystems. Apparently I was wrong.

Interior ⬇︎–$1.5 billion

The budget would increase funding for programs that drill for oil and gas on public lands and cut funding for programs such as the National Heritage Areas and the National Wildlife Fund.

Here we get to more of the meat of the previous changes. With one hand, the administration cuts funding for education and anything related to climate change, and with the other hand open the door to start drilling for oil on public land. Why drill for oil when we were making such fantastic advances with clean energy? Because oil is big money.

It’s not that the administration actually believes what they are saying about climate change, it’s not that they think it’s a hoax or bad science. They just don’t care. They see environmental protections as something that hurts the profits of the oil industry, and therefore must be eliminated. But, if they can convince enough of the people that it’s a hoax, that environmentalists and scientists are the enemy, they can push through legislation like this and roll back the advances we’ve made over the past fifty years.

Homeland Security ⬆︎+$2.8 billion

About $2.6 billion would be dedicated for border security technology and infrastructure, including the early stages of a wall between the United States and Mexico.

The budget makes no mention of the Coast Guard.

Oh, but yea, we’ve got enough to build a pointless wall between us and Mexico.

Defense ⬆︎+$52.3 billion

It’s unclear exactly how all of the increases would be distributed.

Fantastic. Keep your eye on the long game here.