Priorities

  • Published in Editorials

The first week of the presidency of Donald Trump ends tomorrow and it has been telling.

First, not a day has gone by that the president has not suggested that he lost the popular vote due to millions of illegal votes by illegal voters. Despite the preponderance of evidence (and the voices from those in his own party and administration) that this was not the case, President Trump continues to repeat this bizarre lie.

Earlier this week the president reinstated the “global gag rule” which blocks federal funding for international family planning organizations and nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” (the gag rule) abortion. No matter that these organizations provide family planning services, birth control, condoms and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment.

This week the president also signed legislation ordering that a wall be built between the United States and Mexico – with no mechanism for paying for it. The costs of building the wall range from $8 billion to $25 billion depending on whether it is a fence or wall.

He issued gag orders for myriad federal agencies, including the National Park Service and others. Next up we hear are plans to cut 17 national programs that cost each of us $22.36 per year – of which more than a third come from a clean energy program.

Here are some that are on the chopping block and what they cost us:
– Corporation for Public Broadcasting, cost per taxpayer $1.37 per year, $445 million annual budget.
– The National Endowment for the Arts, cost per taxpayer, 46 cents per year, $150 million annual budget.
– The National Endowment for the Humanities, cost per person 46 cents, $150 million annual budget.
– Minority Business Development Agency, cost per person 11 cents, $36 million annual budget.
It’s hard to reconcile axing funding for Sesame Street and arts and humanities with an $8 billion wall that Mexico has sworn it will not fund.

Wonder what the second week of this presidency will hold? More alternative facts? More assertions of voter fraud to hide the fact that he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes?

Stay tuned.