Speed Reads

budget stuff

Trump administration justifies cuts to arts programs by arguing they 'sound great' but aren't actually 'helping anybody'

The Trump administration's budget proposes the elimination of all funding to programs including the National Endowment of the Arts, Meals on Wheels, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a decision Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended Thursday by citing coal miners and single moms, Politico reports.

"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 the hosts of Morning Joe on Thursday. "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."

The Trump administration has proposed raising spending on the Defense Department by $54 billion and setting aside $2.8 billion for the Mexico border wall in the fiscal year 2018. Trump would also cut funding entirely for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Legal Services Corporation, the Chemical Safety Board, Amtrack long-distance routes, the Energy Star program, and other agencies and programs. Health, education, and workforce funding would see $25 billion in cuts. And as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gives money to NPR and PBS, those programs could also expect to feel a squeeze.

"A lot of those programs that we target, they sound great, don't they? They always do," Mulvaney said. He added: "They don't work. A lot of them simply don't work. I can't justify them to the folks who are paying the taxes. I can't go to the autoworker in Ohio and say 'please give me some of your money so that I can do this program over here, someplace else, that really isn't helping anybody."