Late in the night this past Wednesday, the Trump administration unveiled its ghastly budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, and The New York Times columnist Charles Blow is one of many to respond with utter shock to Trump’s plans for the federal government.
The president intends to slash funding by about a third for both the Environmental Protection Agency and for the State Department. Trump also intends to slash funding by a fifth for the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services, respectively.
Trump intends for all of this freed up money to go towards building up the United States military and towards constructing his beloved U.S./Mexico border wall. He tried to defend his position on Twitter early this Thursday afternoon, writing, basically, that he feels as though those who would be adversely affected should his budget proposal be enacted as law, should just “take one for the team.”
Seriously, though — that’s ludicrous.
Among the many programs that Trump intends to see axed are the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program, otherwise known as LIHEAP. Trump, intends, as mentioned, for the funds used for these programs to go towards the military and the proposed border wall.
These aren’t just meaningless programs, however. These programs could mean the difference between life and death for untold numbers of underprivileged Americans.
The first one, the Weatherization Assistance Program, “provides grants to states, territories, and some Indian tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families.” The Department of Energy’s website says that the program has “helped improve the lives of more than 7 million families by reducing their energy bills” since the program was founded in 1976.
Yet the Trump administration wants to eliminate this program? Does Trump have no sense of what happens if a poor family doesn’t have enough money to heat or cool their home properly?
The other, related program that’s on the chopping block, LIHEAP, is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Department of Health and Human Services’s website describes the program as
one that helps low income people “stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer through programs that reduce the risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices.”
Yet Trump wants to cut this program too?
Charles Blow speaks for all of us with his response to this.
As he wrote on Twitter, “What kind of damned MONSTER proposes a budget like this?!!! Eliminating low income heating assistance?!!! So folks freeze?”
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) March 16, 2017
Thankfully, it’s up to Congress whether or not they pass Trump’s budget as proposed. In other words, it’s not the law yet, so there is some hope.
Featured Image via Olivier Douliery- Pool/Getty Images