The following shows U.S. federal discretionary spending — the portion of the budget that U.S. Congress has power to change. This is what they prioritize. A true People's Congress can, and will, do better!
There is no issue more important to the people than war. With its near-unanimous support for Trump’s April 6 attack on Syria, Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike -- proved once again that is no representative of our interests. It is an imperial Congress, a body that represents the global interests of the banks, the oil companies and the military-industrial corporations for whom death and destruction are good business.
Despite the constitutional mandate requiring Congress to declare war prior to military engagement with another country, Trump didn’t bother to even consult with Congressional leaders before the cruise missiles hit their targets. The act also was a direct violation of international law. And aside from a few whimpered requests that the president please talk with them before launching more attacks, the overwhelming sounds coming from Capitol Hill were cheers.
The very few who declined to join the cheering were met with unrestrained vilification by, particularly Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, from Hawaii. Gabbard dared to question the official Washington storyline — which is based on neither evidence nor logic. For her “crime” of calling for an investigation about the poison gas attack before pronouncing guilt, Gabbard was subjected to a vicious campaign by fellow Democrats and the corporate media, including an unprecedented “open letter” from leading Democrats calling for her constituents to vote her out in the next election.
We need a new Congress, a People’s Congress!
Trump, his cabinet and Congress are poised to sharply intensify the war on public education. Trump his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, both billionaires, are dedicated to transforming education at every level into a source of vast new wealth for Wall St. investors, a process that is already underway. Their plan is to gut funding for public schools, while promoting for-profit charter and other private schools, and their partners in Congress are chomping at the bit to carry out the Trump-DeVos program.
Trump’s “America First” budget calls for slashing already-inadequate public education funding by $9.2 billion, or 13.5%, with money to go into a huge build-up of the already swollen military budget. The cuts are especially aimed at programs that help low-income and disabled students. It calls for huge cuts in teacher training, summer school and after-school programs, as well as TRIO and GEAR UP which help prepare low-income students for college. In his campaign, Trump promised to get rid of 490,000 teachers.
School lunch programs would also be slashed. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, outrageously claimed that said that there is “no demonstrable evidence” that school lunches “help kids who don’t get fed at home get fed so they do better in school.”
While cutting just about everything to do with public education, this budget proposes to massively increase funding for “school choice,” that is, for-profit schools.