Trump’s budget sounds death knell for public broadcasting

2017 might go down in history as the ‘Year of the Horrible Budget’.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are bracing for the worst as finishing touches are being put on provincial budgets that are expected to be extremely painful. Let’s go south to Washington and take a look at what The Donald has been doing when he’s not looking for wiretap conspiracies.

The U.S. President gets to put together a budget, and send it to Congress. What follows is usually a long round of ‘horse trading’. This time, somebody may as well build a glue factory on the White House lawn. The Trump budget is nothing short of wholesale slaughter.

Assuming any of it passes, how might it affect us here in Canada? Do you enjoy watching Masterpiece Theatre and other gems on public television? PBS, as we now know it, may all but disappear if the 4 a.m. Twitter addict has his way. The budget would eliminate dozens of federally funded programs, including the $445 million dollars that goes to the Corporation For Public Broadcasting.

More than 70% of that money goes to local PBS stations like Prairie Public. Ironically, many of those local operations are in so-called ‘red states’ that voted heavily in favour of Trump in November.

Also gone will be the National Endowments for both the Arts and the Humanities. A broad range of community services that we also take for granted here in Canada, things like Meals on Wheels, will lose all of their federal funding.

Why is this happening? Because the major area of growth in Trump’s budget is the military. The President wants to boost defence spending by $54 billion, even though he has yet to spell out anything resembling a foreign policy of his own.

You know, it’s one thing to be a clown with attention deficit disorder who attacks the mainstream media over trivia like crowd estimates. Trump is taking things to a whole other level, and no one knows where it will go.

I’m Roger Currie

Roger Currie

About

Veteran radio journalist, now working primarily as a writer, commentator and freelance voice. My regular commentary "Currie's Corner" is heard on CJNU ( Nostalgia Radio ) at 93.7 FM. Text and audio can be found at http://www.cjnu.ca/c-corner.shtml. I also do a daily newscast on CJNU, at about 7.15 & 8.15, every weekday morning. It's also posted on the CNC homepage.

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