A Recipe for Disaster By Abby Owen

How to make America Great Again: One full bottle of Environmental Protection Agency, 1 stick of Health Department, 2 cups of Center for Disease control, 3 cups of Department of Education, 1 tablespoon of AIDS relief program, a teaspoon of financial aid, and a dash of Department of Transportation. Looks like a full day at the supermarket.

In order to erect an exclusively and egregious wall along the Mexican border and defend our borders from penniless immigrants, it’s apparent that Donald Trump is willing to sacrifice our children’s futures, our nation’s health, our environmental fate.

Just days ago, President Donald Trump’s budget proposal dropped and took government support for important programs that secure, protect and ensure our nation’s future with it. Most of these cuts were made with the purpose of carving out a solid 30 billion dollars in excess in order to fulfill one of Trump’s most discriminatory and anti-American promises. To “protect” our borders from “dangerous” asylum seeking immigrants and refugees.

The apparent price to pay for safety. (Image courtesy of CNN).

This budget proposal is a recipe for disaster and should not represent America’s 2018 and beyond. Take the Department of Education, facing a cutback of $9 billion. That means the death of 20 programs that currently benefit our nation’s young minds are eliminated, including benefits for low income students seeking to begin their lives with the solid foundation that comes with a good education. Is a shiny new barbed wire clad wall worth our children’s futures, Mr. Trump?

Department of Education projected cuts. (Image courtesy of The Michigan Daily)

The budget dumps a mountain of dirt on one side of the playing field, the same one that has taken decades to level. The proposal is a kick in the face to our nation's poor, cutting $6 billion in public housing. These residences offer a reprieve to America’s most underprivileged. The budget means the end to many cleanup projects with the sole purpose of improving American lives. This could possibly even force the displacement and continual suffering of countless seniors and disabled poor, as well as the 70,000 children that call deteriorating public housing home.

Some of the horrors of public housing that the slashing of the Housing Department would only aggravate. (Left Image courtesy of Vice, right image courtesy of New York Daily News)

The budget also cuts programs that aid citizens who are incapable of paying their bills as well as seeking assistance in legal troubles. It even cuts the funding for anti-poverty programs such as Meals on Wheels, an organization that brings food to the elderly who cannot pay for nourishment, or are too at-risk to leave their homes and retrieve it themselves. “My 72-year-old neighbor had been eating from dumpsters,” reports one volunteer, “but thanks to the Meals on Wheels in my hometown, he started receiving nutritious meals.” According to Trump this critical service is ineffective and does not yield results. Would he be more satisfied with our nation’s elderly dumpster diving, scrapping together at best 3 "meals" a day? Are 2 million hungry bellies the price of our “safety,” the cost of our cold shoulder towards immigrants?

The joy that Meals on Wheels brings people, and what it can prevent for American seniors.

How about the Environmental Protection Agency? Surely you’ve heard our president’s beliefs on global warming? Does Chinese hoax ring a bell? Donald Trump’s ideal 2018 is complete with a devastating 31% slash of the agency’s budget. This drastic and catastrophic decrease in government funds to the EPA means the end of climate change combatant research in the United States.

A 2012 tweet that show our President's true colors. (Image courtesy of Politifact)

The EPA has created bills that prevent our cities from becoming covered with a viscous layer of sickening smog. The EPA even spearheaded research and eventual restrictions on lead based paint which proved to lead to serious developmental deficits for children. As technology progresses and our global temperatures rise, the EPA is more important now than ever, making the 2.5 billion dollar deficit in the budget a huge misstep. While you may want to defend our citizens with your cuts, Mr. Trump, your slashes may end up eradicating us all.

There is no denying that citizen safety is necessary. It is extremely important that Americans feel protected in their own nation, feel that the government has the funds and capabilities to stand up to aggressors. In our nation of progress and innovation, it is inevitable for the funds that keep the doors to our enticing government agency’s open to dry up and be substituted for more pressing matters.

However, you don’t have to be an economist to see that these cuts are extreme and their elimination may jeopardize American society more than outside enemies, real and imagined, will.

Without the EPA, air pollution could claim more lives than it already has, 6 million per year, 200,000 of which are in the US alone. How does this compare to the matter that Trump deems more of a threat? Roughly 6 people a year are killed from terrorist attacks perpetrated by foreigners. That is 0.003% of the number of deaths caused by air pollution.

(Image courtesy of Weather.com)

45 million Americans live in poverty. This is an enormous number compared to the number of non-American citizens who have committed crimes, 820,000. Studies have shown that 5% of prison inmates are not citizens, making the majority of the real dangerous people in our country our own responsibility, 95% to be exact. In fact, it is 290 times more likely for an American to be killed by an asteroid than it is for them to be killed by an act of terrorism carried out by an illegal immigrant. When put in perspective, the amount of Americans living in poverty as well as being born into poverty seems like something more worthy of government funds. While Trump claims that he is putting Americans first, his cuts will leave more citizens struggling than the non-citizens he aims to eject.

The odds of death by what Donald Trump's budget sacrifices for. (Image courtesy of Business Insider)

By slicing these operations that have been effective in protecting and advancing American citizens, Trump is trying to tell us something. His quest for a migrantless nation “trumps” his wish for a strong, healthy and supported American, regardless of race, origin, or economic status. It is showing us that walls are more important than the melting pot, what the United States was meant to be.

President Trump, will your sacrifices really keep us safe? Will thick smog become our new oxygen? Will the gaps between the rich and the poor begin to resemble pre-revolutionary France? Will primary schooling be a privilege, not a right? Will your wall be worth its cost? If your goal actually is America first, please make sure you value your citizens over your enemies.

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