First They Came for the Cartoon Characters...

We all knew the Trump administration considered Sid the Science Kid a bigger threat than inappropriate ties to the Russian government; apparently, they also consider Sesame Street a parasitic neighborhood, living, as it does, off the welfare state, or somesuch nonsense.

Yeah, that's a rough bunch, right there!

On the chopping block for Trump's budget - along with Meals on Wheels and science and medical research - is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which would be completely eliminated. That means goodbye NPR, PBS, and tons of other non-profit, for-the-good-of-actual-human-beings TV and radio stations. (It's worth mentioning, I think, that NPR ratings are the highest they've ever been, in a time when many for-profit media outlets have been tightening their belts, in large part because people trust them to be unbiased - privatization is hardly a guarantor of success, much less trustworthiness.) The administration argues that these can be successfully privatized - which is true for big cities, maybe, although private ownership means less likelihood that the content will be purely for the public good, rather than Big Business benefit. So, again, privatization in order to benefit the wealthy, and a big "screw you" to everyone else. 

And an especially big "sucks to be you" for rural communities, who will also be dealing with the elimination of the Economic Development Administration, which gives grants to struggling communities, and the Appalachian Regional Commission, as well as the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Border Regional Commission. They are, of course, also targeting the EPA, NEH, NEA, IMLS, public education (specifically targeting teacher education and summer and after-school programs), small businesses, and so much more.

Why are these programs being cut?

“When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was, can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no,” Mulvaney told MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”[Source]

The administration thinks coal miners shouldn't have to pay for such luxury programs; but cutting CPB, IMLS, NEH, etc., actually hurts coal miners and other rural citizens more than anyone else. For instance, rural areas stand to lose far more than big cities if you cut the NEA. Now, I'm not a coal miner. If I were a coal miner, however, I'd be frankly insulted by the insinuation that I am all and only about the labor that can be extracted from me. The implication is that coal miners and other rural citizens don't want or need strong public education, access to media, libraries, museums, clean water and air, non-toxic backyards, insurance, community improvements, etc. All we rural folk need is a strong military in case some unspecified war pops up that we can send our kids to fight in! (Once they're out of the military, though, they're on their own.) I think it's disgusting that this administration seems to believe poor rural citizens do not need, want, or deserve such programs, which are vital to our growth as human beings, individually and communally.
Of course, rural people aren't the only ones who'll suffer under this budget. Poor urban dwellers and the homeless are looking at tough times, too.

And I can't help but wonder why Trump wants to boost an already inflated military budget. Our military spending dwarfs that of the rest of the world.

And, let's be honest, if Trump really wanted to watch U.S. spending, we know where he should start:


Pretty picture time! While today is most commonly celebrated as St. Patrick's Day, it is also St. Gertrude's Day! St. Gertrude is the patron saint of cats, so here's a picture of a pretty cat:

Kitten Ranga!



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