Jan 19, 2017 (San Diego) The Heritage Foundation has created a blueprint for the budget that should alarm people. Nor will this blueprint slash any budget in any significant way since all these programs are minor parts of the budget. Yet, they will all have significant effects on your life. Here is the blueprint by the way.
There are a few programs that immediately struck us as fascinating. The first is that it will target the Office of Community Policing at the Department of Justice. Maybe the people at Heritage do not realize this, but this office helps local police departments run investigations into misconduct by their own officers. San Diego Police benefited from the program when we got the report a few years back regarding issues with the department. It also helps departments to ensure constitutional policing.
So what else is getting slashed? Here is another program targetted that directly affect people in San Diego’s East County. They propose reducing or eliminating fire grants Oh there is more. If you ever needed to access the Federal Emergency Management System, like oh after the Cedar fire, guess what is on the chopping block? No, it will not completely gut it, but it will go a long way in reducing capacity in an age when more weather related disasters will occur. We quote:
In FY 2016, FEMA’s DRF received $7.375 billion in budget authority. This spending can be reduced by at least $2 billion by reforming the Stafford Act to return more responsibility for disasters to state and local governments. First, Congress should increase the Stafford Act threshold to require $3 per capita in damages with a $5 million minimum threshold (under which a federal disaster is never declared), and a $50 million maximum threshold (over which a disaster declaration is usually issued).
Of course you will not know why you are getting more disasters. While eliminating the help you might need, the program includes the following elimination of funding:
- Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles (as well as non-road equipment, locomotives, aircraft, and transportation fuels);
- Regulation of CO2 emissions from power plants and all other man-made sources;
- The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program;
- The Global Methane Initiative;
- The Climate Resilience Fund;
- The Climate Resilience Evaluation Awareness Tool;
- The Green Infrastructure Program;
- The Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative; and
- Climate research funding for the Office of Research and Development
It makes sense if you think it is not worth doing, and you stop talking resiliency, you will not have to report on this, or even research it. Also, if you do not have the research, it makes it far easier to deny any change is happening, or that we need any adaptation to a changing climate.
There is hope that perhaps some of this will not be done, purely on the fact that some of the testimony shows that at least there is some awareness that climate change is happening. Scott Pruitt admitted as much during his confirmation hearing. He will head the Environmental Protection Agency, but he was not yet ready to say it was emissions,
Don’t fret, the project from Heritage includes things like not paying for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or any other United Nations effort to deal with a global threat.
Other things on the chopping block…
- The National Endowment for the Humanities
- Commissary Subsides at military bases
- Eliminate the office at DOJ that gives grants to prevent violence against women
- Eliminate any of the training programs for people who lose jobs to trade agreements
- Reduce the National Labor Relations Board Funding
- Eliminate funding for the Paris Climate Agreement
- Eliminate subsidies for AMTRAK
- Elimination of the Jones Act (The Jones Act is federal legislation that protects American workers injured at sea. Also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this law allows qualifying sailors who have been involved in accidents or become sick while performing their duties to recover compensation from their employers.)
- Eliminate the Davis-Bacon Act, which mandates the pay of prevailing wages.
- Prohibit any regulation of greenhouse gasses, which is a direct attack on California
This is far from a comprehensive list. San Diegans will be affected, like everybody else. Many in San Diego have used services that are targeted directly by this plan. Many of those services and the research necesary for adaptation to climate change, will be gone.