As Donald Trump prepares to take office, his plans to dramatically reduce funding for public services — particularly the arts — are coming to light.
On Thursday morning, it was reported that Trump’s transition team has been examining government programs to cut severely or eliminate entirely across multiple federal agencies to the tune of $10.5 trillion over the next ten years. According to The Hill, Trump would eliminate entire programs under the purview of the Departments of Justice, State, Commerce, Energy, and Transportation.
While it wasn’t immediately clear what specific programs in those agencies would be cut or eliminated, the President-elect’s past inquiries into the names of federal employees tasked with working on climate change at the Department of Energy and gender equality policy at the State Department could provide insight as to where spending cuts may be applied in the coming months.
Trump may also completely privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which provides a significant chunk of funding for National Public Radio affiliates across the country, as well as shut down the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for Humanities. The NEA is known for funding a wide array of legendary artistic endeavors, like the NPR program A Prairie Home Companion, PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center, and famous local projects like the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
At first glance, Trump appears to be following the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation’s blueprint on slashing federal spending almost to the letter. Last February, the right-wing think tank rolled out its proposal for gutting federal programs by over $10 trillion over the seven years. The Heritage plan is even more austere than the Republican Study Committee’s proposed budget, which only cuts public services by roughly $8.6 trillion over the next ten years.
Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook.