EDITORIAL: Decisions on budget need to be cut

White House plans to decrease funding for programs are troubling


Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences students understand the necessary balance between the humanities and the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) field. So if college students can comprehend the importance of this balance, it is hard to imagine why a presidential administration is struggling with the idea of this concept.

A list of programs that are projected to be cut by President Donald J. Trump in order to cut down on domestic spending has been released by the White House budget office. The programs in this list? The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. Although people may understand the gravity of removing funding from National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the name is self-explanatory, the severity of removing CPB can be explained like this: CPB consists of organizations like the National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which receive about $445.5 million from the government yearly.

These programs that Trump is attempting to defund only account for $500 million annually. That may seem a lot to the average American, but for a government that projects to spend about $4 trillion this year, that is only a drop in the bucket. 

The White House defunding programs that involve the media and the humanities is extremely unnerving. Perhaps it has to do with the administration’s desire to appeal to their Republican Party by defunding publically funded corporations, but no one in any party should find comfort in removing money from programs that help the humanities. A lot of the supporters of these cuts who have been asking for these funding cuts for years claim that this money is going to waste. But the National Endowment for the Humanities was responsible for grants that helped paid for both the “Treasures of Tutankhamen” exhibit that drew over 1.36 million visitors, as well as the Metropolitan Museum’s “Jerusalem 1000-14000: Every People Under Heaven” exhibit. If the people who support defunding arts programs cannot find the value in these exhibits and what they promote, then this nation has larger issues at hand than we thought. The humanities are essential to human experience. STEM fields are undoubtedly significant, but a balance between the two is needed.

Trump’s funding cuts of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting although frightening is not exactly surprising, with the administration’s recent rhetoric surrounding the press and media and the dismissal of things that are necessary in the nation — including free speech and the constant circulation of information. These actions stem from the desire to control what funnels in and out of the nation and is dangerous to the nation’s status as a democracy.

The Trump administration's list also included the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is ironic due to Trump's outspoken problems with drugs within the nation. For a man so dedicated to combatting the nation’s drug problems, why is he planning to cut the budget for a program dedicated to fight drug use and trafficking?

Although the money that the White House would be saving from these budget cuts are minimal and almost useless otherwise, if they really wanted to save money, the nation’s most competent staff could salvage together a plan that could cut domestic funding without putting the status of humanities and public media at risk. The again, if not, there are more things to worry about than our spending.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 149th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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