How Trump’s science cuts could hurt states that voted for him

May 17, 2017

By Alexandra Witze

In the heavily fished waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the red snapper has made a notable comeback. Strict US government regulations have helped to rebuild its stocks after overfishing caused a population crash in the 1980s and 1990s. Now the fish faces a new challenge: President Donald Trump, a Republican who wants to cut roughly US$50 billion from the government’s civilian agencies in 2018.

Trump’s plan would eliminate the Mississippi-based Sea Grant programme that is poised to oversee a $12-million study of red-snapper stocks. Its findings are meant to guide future management decisions, and to protect a fishery that hauls in billions of dollars per year for the Republican-dominated gulf states. Now the study’s fate is uncertain — along with those of many other government science programmes, including some that largely benefit the voters who propelled Trump into office.

In 2014, about $35 billion — or nearly one-third of all federal research dollars — flowed to states that voted Republican in the most recent presidential election, a Nature analysis found (see ‘Red state, blue state’). Economists have documented how this type of government investment shores up local economies, says Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy analyst at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington DC. “Many smaller communities have a huge amount to lose,” he says.

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4 comments on “How Trump’s science cuts could hurt states that voted for him

  • Science enables and provides management systems for fisheries, food production and distribution, pollution control, and water resource management.
    In addition to this it also drives the rapidly expanding green energy sector, and space-based and microelectronics based communication technologies.

    Anyone who thinks they can run sectors of the modern world, on advice from a know-it-all bunch of science-denying muppets who use propaganda rags as information sources, and make-it-up-as they-go along, – is an idiot who will put his foot in his mouth whenever he opens it!



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  • There are clear lessons for Trumpie de-regulators! as there are of course consequences, when people do not respect, and casually ignore, science based regulations.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-39971407

    At least two people have died and several others are feared missing after a pedestrian bridge collapsed in the Indian state of Goa.

    People had gathered on the bridge to watch emergency services rescue a man who had jumped into the Sanvordem river in Curchorem.

    Local media reported that more than 50 people were on the bridge when it collapsed late on Thursday evening.

    The bridge was reportedly more than 60 years old and was banned from use.

    A local police officer told the Hindustan Times that more people were likely to be “trapped under the collapsed bridge”.

    It would appear than none of them had a pressing need to cross the bridge in the first place, but have been injured or died, due to their casual lack of regard for prohibitions based on expert advice!



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  • While Trump is gallivanting around the Middle east and Europe, I see his wish-thinking budget has been published!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40015958

    The US military would receive a 10% boost while $1.6bn would be allocated for a wall on the border with Mexico.

    President Trump, who is travelling overseas, missed the unveiling of his first full budget, titled A New Foundation for American Greatness.

    Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told reporters on Tuesday the proposal is “simply the president’s priorities put on paper”.

    Is the president’s budget law?

    No.

    A US president’s annual budget is a policy wish list that stands little chance of being enacted.

    The Senate and House of Representatives will pass their own versions, which will then go to congressional committees before the final spending plan is cemented.

    The Trump budget might have expected a sympathetic reading in the Republican-controlled Congress.

    But even fiscally hawkish conservatives are baulking at some of the $3.6tr in cuts.

    The defence spending boost is there, yes, but funds allocated for a border wall aren’t nearly enough to realise Mr Trump’s dream. Infrastructure spending is below the massive investment Mr Trump promised.

    Candidate Trump also pledged to protect entitlement spending, but his budget makes massive cuts in the Medicaid healthcare programme for the poor.

    Is the plan economically viable?

    This budget projects the US government will eliminate its deficit and be running a surplus by 2027 – for the first time since the 1990s.

    The plan promises to cut tax rates, relying largely on hoped-for economic growth of 3% to avoid adding to the deficit.

    But that forecast is well beyond the independent Congressional Budget Office assumptions of 1.9% growth.

    The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the Trump budget was based on “rosy assumptions” and “does not add up”.

    The White House budget director said on Tuesday 3% growth “will be the new normal for this country”, but conceded that without it, the “budget will never balance”.

    What’s the reaction?

    Democrats are predictably outraged.

    Yet even conservatives are voicing anxiety about the magnitude of the cuts.

    Mark Walker, chairman of the spending hawks in the Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Post: “There will be some concern if we go too deep in some of these areas.”

    Mark Meadows, chairman of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, told the New York Times: “Meals on Wheels, even for some of us who are considered to be fiscal hawks, may be a bridge too far.”

    John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, said the plan was “dead on arrival”.



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  • It looks like the Trump cabinet is working to its usual standards! 🙂 – and then denying its blunders as usual!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40023720

    The White House has denied the president’s budget proposal contains an “egregious” maths error.
    Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pointed out the spending plan double-counts $2tr (£1.5tr).

    But White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters: “We stand by the numbers.”

    Unveiled on Tuesday, the budget proposes deep cuts to welfare programmes.

    Mr Summers, also formerly chief economist of the World Bank, was one of the first to spot the apparent mistake.

    “It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them,” he wrote on his blog.

    He said the spending plan was “simply ludicrous”.

    The budget forecasts about $2tr in extra federal revenue growth over the next 10 years, which it uses to pay for Mr Trump’s “biggest tax cut in history”.

    But that very same $2tr is then used to reduce the budget deficit.

    “My observation is that there appears to be a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course,” Mr Summers wrote.

    A prominent conservative economist agreed there was a discrepancy.

    Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the Los Angeles Times the numbers “don’t seem to match”.

    That is not the only problem with President Trump’s $4.1tr federal budget, according to analysts on both sides of the political divide.

    It hinges on the country achieving 3% annual growth, but most economists say this is unlikely for the US.

    The plan – titled A New Foundation for American Greatness – takes a hatchet to federal programmes for the disadvantaged, such as food stamps, disability payments and healthcare.

    Democratic lawmakers have savaged the budget, and even fiscally hawkish Republicans seem taken aback by the magnitude of the cuts.

    The austerity measures “are astonishing and frankly immoral”, Congresswoman Pramilla Jayapal told Mr Mulvaney as he testified to the House Budget Committee on Wednesday.

    “This budget starts by taking away healthcare, then food, then housing, then education, then job opportunities,” the Washington Democrat said.

    Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the budget shows an “unimaginable level of cruelty” for millions of Americans and children.

    But the spending plan is likely to undergo substantial revisions on Capitol Hill before final approval.

    Ah! Trumponomics – in splendid full flow!



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