CNN's Christine Romans Deconstructs Trump's Plan To "Dramatically Reshape" Federal Spending

CNN's Christine Romans Deconstructs Trump's Plan To "Dramatically Reshape" Federal Spending

Romans: Proposal To Privatize CPB Is "A 50-Year-Old Wish List For Conservatives Who See Leftist Propaganda" On Public TV


President Donald Trump’s preliminary budget proposal for 2018 would completely eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with the aim of either privatizing or scrapping the nonprofit organization, which serves as a revenue hub for American public media. Trump first floated his plan to gut the CPB in January, and the proposal represents the culmination of a years-long right-wing media campaign to undermine public media outlets like NPR and PBS, which conservatives see as too liberal. In 2012, right-wing media falsely claimed that public outlets could replace federal grants with commercial funding as part of series of measures that would reduce federal spending by a minuscule amount. In response to that misconception, the organization’s CEO Patricia Harrison told CNN’s Brian Stelter “There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services.”

Today on CNN Newsroom, chief business correspondent Christine Romans noted that the targeting of CPB would culminate “a 50-year-old wish list for conservatives who see leftist propaganda” on public television, but it would do nothing in terms of actually reducing government spending. From the March 16 edition of CNN’s CNN Newsroom:

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JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): Also new this morning, the White House budget, and we've never really seen anything like this before. There is a big boost in military spending, also Homeland Security, but huge cuts elsewhere, including eliminating entire programs. CNN chief business correspondent, anchor of Early Start, Christine Romans here with more. Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS: Here it is. This is the blueprint for the budget.

BERMAN: The skinny budget.

ROMANS: This is the little one. Hard power, America first. And, it's pretty dramatic. It's little but it's dramatic. It really reshapes how government interacts with American life, shrinks government. What you would see if this budget were enacted would be an awful lot of empty metal desks in Washington, D.C. and a lot of smaller programs. Let's take a look at how much smaller. EPA, down 31 percent, that's what this budget calls for. State, 28 percent. HHS, Health and Human Services, down 16 percent. And HUD, a $6 billion cut there. This is the Housing and Urban Development Department, and there are concerns among advocates for the poor and for equal housing that this would dramatically reshape how low-income people receive their housing. What you hear from the government -- what you hear from the White House, actually -- is that they see a lot of duplicative programs, they would move money around, they’d get rid of waste and things that shouldn't be done by certain agencies would be eliminated. Eliminated completely the funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is maybe a 50-year-old wish list for conservatives who see leftist propaganda, apparently, in re-airing the theater on local TV stations.


ROMANS: Here is where the money would go though, you're not cutting the deficit here. You're moving that money someplace else. You're moving it to defense, $52 billion there, to the veterans, $4.4 billion, Homeland Security, $2.8 billion. And the border, this is kind of a down payment on the promises that the president has made, about a billion and a half to get that wall started, another $2 billion of the next year. And you would be hiring immigration judges, you would be hiring immigration authorities, immigration officials, immigration agents, and border patrol agents, hundreds and hundreds of them to fulfill some of the president's promises. So, this is what the world would look like under Donald Trump's vision, his world view. It is his world view. His budget director says they took his words on the campaign trail and turned it into numbers. This is what those numbers look like. 

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