Many people who voted for President Donald Trump were hoping that his experience as a businessman might signal that he'd be able to handle the federal budget well. But Americans might have to pay much more in the long run if Trump's budget proposal comes to fruition. When you consider his historical fondness for filing for bankruptcy, that starts to make a lot of sense. Trump's rearrangement of the federal budget calls for an additional $54 billion in defense spending, as well as a couple billion for that wall that Mexico's supposedly paying for.
That money has to come from somewhere, so Trump has proposed cuts from 62 different agencies and programs, including ending 19 entirely. People are rightly furious about many of the items on the chopping block, from NPR to Meals on Wheels to the National Endowment For the Arts. But apart from just being good for the nation in their own right, many of the agencies and programs actually produce or save money, so cutting them could end up losing the country money. One wonders just how much research went into this budget plan. Perhaps no more than was put into launching Trump Vodka, Trump University, or Trump Airlines, among other things.
So how much does the United States stand to lose if these agencies are gone? And who will pick up the difference? Again, not Mexico. Never Mexico. Here are some agencies that are actually saving U.S. dollars.
National Endowment For The Arts
Trump wants to eliminate the NEA's entire $148 million budget. That might sound like a lot, but it's only 0.012 percent of the entire budget. And it pays for itself nearly 15 times over; arts and culture accounted for $704.2 billion, or 4.23 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2013, and another $698 billion (4.3 percent of GDP) in 2015. Art isn't just paintings; it's books, movies, fashion, dance, music, and so much more. Without the NEA to fund and inspire future artists, that's $700 billion per year up for grabs as we outsource our art to other countries.
Honestly, one could argue that like all EPA programs (and other various climate change initiatives under other agencies) Energy Star saves the U.S. an immeasurable amount of money, because who could possibly estimate the price of creating underground housing for 300 million citizens once we ruin the Earth and have to become mole people. But if we're going to nitpick, the use of energy-efficient appliances saved consumers more than $31 billion on their energy bills in 2014, and also provided more than $16 billion in "benefits to society" by reducing the impact of carbon emissions, according to Energy Star's annual report.
Corporation For Public Broadcasting
According to Vox, most of the CPB's funding goes towards broadcasting in rural areas, also known as Trump country. In many areas, NPR and PBS are the only local stations. Without the CPB, hardworking farmers would be cut off from the rest of the world, with no access to national news or educational shows for their kids. They could make up for it by subscribing to cable for $40 a month, internet for $35 a month, and satellite radio for $16 a month, but that's more than $1,000 extra per year. Many simply can't afford that.
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
This Housing and Urban Development program, also known as NeighborWorks America, spends its $175 million budget on job training and community development in impoverished areas across the country. It's created more than 53,000 jobs that contribute to the U.S. economy, and its financial planning program has helped participants increase their credit scores, save hundreds of dollars each, and reduce their debt by an average of $3,005.
U.S. Trade And Development Agency
Most people probably aren't familiar with this agency, which only asks for a paltry $60 million per year. It's tasked with promoting U.S. exports and facilitating trade with foreign countries. What's Trump's issue with them? Isn't he all about deals? The agency's job seems especially important now, since the rest of the world has no confidence in Trump. In 2014, U.S. exports totaled $2.34 trillion, which made up 13.4 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the Pew Research Center. Can the country afford to lose that?