Billions for the military, cuts elsewhere

Goodbye Big Bird and Cookie Monster. Kids today don’t need to learn how to read. And everyone knows Sesame Street is just liberal goofiness.

Who needs clean air and safe drinking water? We definitely don’t want all those business-killing regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, so off with their head, or at least 31 percent of their budget.

We’re going to charge you senior citizens thousands more for your health care coverage. And we know you don’t really need those Meals on Wheels. Let’s get rid of energy assistance for the poor while we’re at it. Time for all of you to learn personal responsibility.

Instead we’re going to spend our money building a useless multi-billion dollar wall on our border with Mexico, whose citizens are never going to reimburse us, believe me.

A budget is an expression of our priorities as a nation, reflecting our values and our dreams. What does it say about us that we would prefer to waste billions of dollars trying to wall ourselves off from the misery and suffering of the world at the expense of our own most vulnerable citizens? And who but a military contractor really thinks that adding $54 billion to a military budget that is already more than the next eight biggest spending countries combined is going to guarantee our safety in a world of uncertainty and chaos? Not likely, especially after we cut 29 percent from the diplomats at the State Department.

The America First budget from the Office of Management and Budget was presented to the nation last week. It’s full of misinformation such as this gem regarding the $1.2 billion cut in after-school and summer programs for elementary students: “The programs lacks [sic] strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improving student achievement.” Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says these programs don’t improve academic performance. But according to multiple studies, that just isn’t true. Besides, common sense should tell anyone that students who are productively occupied are also much less likely to get into unsupervised trouble.

There’s a particular insult to Nevada hidden in the Trump budget in the form of $120 million to restart the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nye County, just 90 miles from Las Vegas. Nevada’s congressional delegation has long been united against storing high-level radioactive waste in our earthquake-prone desert far too close to our largest population center, especially since none of the waste is generated in Nevada. Even U.S. Senator Dean Heller slapped that part of the proposed budget down, saying “Yucca is dead, and their reckless proposal will not revive it.” But in this Alice in Wonderland budget nightmare, it’s been resurrected.

The Nevada Assembly heard Assembly Joint Resolution 10 last week, expressing opposition to the repository, which will undoubtedly be completely ignored in Washington. But make no mistake. One accident could scare off tourists forever and turn Las Vegas into a ghost town. Transportation issues should be of concern to everyone living on the designated route since the waste would travel by railway or trucks, incredibly rich terrorism targets capable of destroying any community unlucky enough to lie in its path.

It’s tempting to shrug off the new worries of some Trump voters that this budget and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act may leave them significantly worse off than they are today even as others refuse to budge from their blind support of the President, despite his narcissistic bold-faced lies about virtually everything. Our elected representatives must unite in their resistance to the immorality of spending billions on an offensive, useless wall and more weapons of destruction while our seniors and children are hungry and neglected.

Who will save us from this madman if not ourselves?