Trump pours gas on the arts, humanities, sciences, and education, then asks Congress for a match

  • The proposed budget “eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), for a savings of $434 million from the 2017 annualized CR level.”
  • “Decreases Federal support for job training and employment service formula grants, shifting more responsibility for funding these services to States, localities, and employers.” That shift-to-states theme is recurring elsewhere in this administration’s thinking.
  • “Eliminates the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s unproven training grants, yielding savings of almost $11 million from the 2017 annualized CR level…”
  1. This is just a proposal, handed to Congress to encourage them to adopt a budget very much like it. There’s plenty of room for changes of all sorts.
  2. However, the GOP owns Congress. If they fall in line, much of this could come to pass by year’s end.
  3. Apparently an expanded version of this is due out in May, so we should watch that for changes and greater details.
  4. Many of these items are consistent with Trump’s campaign statements during the election.
  5. If the arts, sciences, humanities, and education are to depend less on the federal government and more on states, we should watch for states competing with each other to either boost funding and attract these populations, or the reverse.
  6. Privatization is, unsurprisingly, a theme here, from apprenticeships to throwing people onto the market for support to boosting charter schools.
  7. While the document casts these cuts as cost savings, the amounts are really puny on the federal budget’s scale. I don’t think it’s accurate to say this is about skewing the country towards war (the military budget grows) and away from culture. Instead this feels more like pure culture war.



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Bryan Alexander

Bryan Alexander


Futurist, speaker, writer, consultant, educator. Author of the FTTE report and ACADEMIA NEXT. Creator of The Future Trends Forum.