Trump's first pass at a budget proposes eliminating funds for the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It also includes cutting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a key revenue source for PBS and National Public Radio and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
"While some Republicans have voiced support for the endowments, the arts endowment in particular has been a target of conservatives for decades. After political battles over the endowments in the late 1980s and 1990s, both agencies created programs and provided grants to more artists and scholars in politically conservative parts of the country, like a rural arts initiative that benefited states like Alabama and North Dakota.
Yet endowment money still flowed strongly to liberal-leaning states and cities: New York City arts groups are the largest recipient of federal arts grants. Some advocates for the arts endowment, which doles out far less money as a percentage than many other governments around the world, have said that its importance is less about the money and more about the message that it sends about the importance of culture in the United States.
PEN America, an advocacy group made up of literary figures, has been circulating a petition in an effort to save the endowments that has already amassed 200,000 signatures, including prominent names such as Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood."
I'm not surprised.
The proposed cuts come from a Republican president whose idea of culture is judging Miss Teen and Miss Universe pageants, building casinos that look like a mausoleum in Agra, India, and living in a golden tower that would make Louis XIV embarrassed because of its overwrought, gauche bad taste.
So here's Trump's America:
Take away health care for millions of middle class and poor Americans; eliminate the endowments for the arts; bar Muslims from entering the country, all while flying every weekend to West Palm Beach, Florida, for a vacation, at a cost to the American taxpayers of $3 million a pop, and then charge his weekend jaunts at Trump's playground for the rich to the American taxpayer. Meanwhile, Melania Antoinette and her son are ensconced in Trump Tower in Manhattan, also at taxpayers' expense.
It's good to be the king, eh Donnie?
Charlie Pierce at Esquire:
Every year, during the run-up to Halloween, when Jim DeMint goes to Hell's mega-mall and sits on Satan's lap, he has a list of things he wants for the holiday. The parents of the assembled demons and imps behind him in line often get frustrated because the list is so long. On Thursday, the Trump Administration released its proposed national budget.
It's been a long time coming, but DeMint and the rest of the greasy barbarians at Heritage finally got most of what they asked for. This proposed budget isn't extreme. Reagan's proposed budget in 1981 was extreme. This budget is short-sighted, cruel to the point of being sadistic, stupid to the point of pure philistinism, and shot through with the absolute and fundamentalist religious conviction that the only true functions of government are the ones that involve guns, and that the only true purpose of government is to serve the rich.
Who in the hell zeroes out Meals on Wheels?
Who decides that a program that spends $3 million to help volunteers feed the elderly and infirm in their communities is something that the country can no longer afford? Who are the men in the meetings who make this kind of call? What are their names? Trot them out so the country knows who they are. C'mon, David Brooks, find out who they are and explain why National Greatness Conservatism has a problem with starving elderly shut-ins.
The National Endowment For The Arts? The National Endowment For The Humanities? The Corporation For Public Broadcasting? Who in the hell zeroes out the NEA, or the NEH, or the CPB? Who decides that rural museums, and Ken Burns, and Antiques Roadshow are too elitist for a country full of righteous bumpkins? I'll tell you who does. Newt Gingrich does, that's who, and 23 years ago Newt Gingrich was the superstar of the conservative movement, the intellectual anchor of the modern Right, until, of course, he became a public embarrassment. You know who else does? George Effing Will, just today, that's who. These programs did not become targets last November.
I'll tell you who, Charlie. The sort of people who believe America is a hellhole and who are doing their damndest to make it so: