“I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” – Steve Bannon
By SHAUN KING / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS / Friday, March 17, 2017, 11:30 AM
“I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
These are the words uttered by White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
When someone tells you who they are — believe them.
When someone tells you precisely what they aim to do — believe them.
Bannon, who was the CEO of Trump’s campaign and is now widely seen as a mix between being his puppet-master and even a co-President, did not mince words when he said very plainly who he was and what his goals were.
I believe him.
Not even out of his first 100 days, Trump’s heavy-handed executive orders have radically changed the American political landscape. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
And nothing that has happened in Trump’s first 60 days in office better personifies the nefarious goals of Steve Bannon “to bring everything crashing down” more than Trump’s first proposed budget that was released Thursday.
It is, unequivocally, the most cruel, destructive, dangerous and inhumane federal budget ever released by an American President.
It is so outrageously and universally cruel that it shocks the conscience that such a budget was actually created on purpose. At first, I aimed to write about it soon after it was released, but it honestly took me an additional 24 hours to wrap my mind around what we had seen.
Trump quietly handed drone-strike authorization to the CIA, which is not required to publicly disclose the civilian casualties such missions incur. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images
Trump’s budget completely eliminates 19 federal agencies — including funding for PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It cuts funding for Meals on Wheels. Who the hell cuts funding for Meals on Wheels? They deliver over a million warm meals a week to America’s seniors, including thousands and thousands of veterans. When pressed on how in the world they could do such a thing, Trump’s budget man, Mick Mulvaney, responded with a retort that the program “sounds good,” — but doesn’t work.
Except it does.
The budget also completely eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides job training and placement services to senior citizens. My mother-in-law used this program and was placed in a job because of it.
It also eliminates funding for 49 National Historic Sites. What are they supposed to do without this funding?
Trump’s budget would gut federal counter-terrorism funding to New York City – arguably the world’s most alluring target for terrorist attacks. Photograph: Marcus Santos/New York Daily News
The budget completely eliminates the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which provides essential funding to tens of thousands of underserved communities across the nation. This cut would ruin so many programs — and not just in inner-city America, but also in rural America as well. To cut it completely from the budget is fundamentally absurd.
Trump aims to drastically slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 31% — immediately eliminating 3,200 jobs — many of them centered around climate change, environmental cleanup, and research.
The 29% budget cut to the State Department completely eliminates many peacekeeping missions and cultural exchange programs. The cuts immediately weaken our efforts with diplomacy around the world. Of course, Trump and Bannon know this.
Even the NYPD is outraged by the budget, which would cut millions upon millions of dollars from the department’s efforts to fight terrorism.
Trump’s budget would gut the Meals on Wheels program. The White House calls this decision “compassionate.” Photograph: Amy Sancetta/AP
Our city needs this money. New York is the largest target for terrorism in the nation. Mind you, Trump and his family are costing New York millions to protect them and their businesses in the city, including Trump Tower along Fifth Ave. That they have the nerve to propose cutting funding for the NYPD seems vindictive.
In fact, every single department in the government had its budget slashed — except for the three defense-related departments.
The Defense Department increase in Trump’s budget was a staggering $54,000,000,000. I added the zeroes for effect — that’s $54 billion. Our nation already spends more on defense than most of the developed nations of the world combined. This increase is simply absurd and unnecessary. It is not what Trump’s voters asked for.
To put that $54 billion increase in defense spending in context, it would cost about $69 billion per year from the federal government for every college student to attend college tuition free.
What in the hell are we increasingly the defense budget by $54 billion for? Again, moderate increases could be argued, but this is an increase of epic proportions. In light of the fact that so many programs that truly aim to make America great would be eliminated altogether to make this increase possible, it looks that much worse.
This budget has no heart. It has no soul. It has no compassion. But that’s not what Steve Bannon ever said he was about. He said he wanted “to bring everything crashing down” and this budget does just that.