If Donald Trump is trying to form a legacy out of the things he creates, he should start by ending his policy of destroying so many things that already exist. That’s the prevailing opinion of most Americans when it comes to the sometimes-draconian measures that Trump announces almost by decree.
From cutting regulations that Republicans like to call “job-killers” to overturning rules implemented in the Obama era, Trump’s slash-and-burn style has been his modus operandi since before he was even inaugurated. As his decision to overturn the banning of pesticides in the National Wildlife Refuge System was announced recently, and his decision to overturn guidance on diversity in schools was implemented weeks before that, it’s time to demand change from an administration that began the policy of elimination before Trump was even seated at the Resolute Desk.
On January 19th, 2017, the day before Trump hosted “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” his team announced the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, something that all Republicans have wanted to get rid of since time immemorial. Despite the fact that it funds important educational programming and costs so little as to be an absolutely negligible part of the federal budget, Team Trump nevertheless announced on that day:
The Trump Administration needs to reform and cut spending dramatically, and targeting waste like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be a good first step in showing that the Trump Administration is serious about radically reforming the federal budget.”
And the Trump administration isn’t just shooting America in the foot over pesticides and rules against discrimination. The elimination of the NEA means that the contribution of the arts to America’s economy is in danger. And studies show that as recently as just a few years ago, arts and cultural production contributed a hair under $700 billion to the economy, or almost 5 percent of GDP. By contrast, the construction industry produces less than $600 billion, and transportation and warehousing produce less than $500 billion combined.
No President has ever been more destructive to the foundations of American life than Donald Trump, and if we want that behavior to stop, we need a Congress that can stop it.
Featured image via screen capture
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