James Rowen
Op Ed

Trump Great Lakes Cuts Hurt Supporters

Great Lakes governors who supported him own that massive cut in Great Lakes funding.

By - May 30th, 2017 07:19 am
Algae bloom on the Great Lakes.

Algae bloom on the Great Lakes.

Donald Trump‘s so-called budget which also reflects Paul Ryan‘s end to public services would cancel funding for Great Lakes restoration.

Twenty percent of the world’s fresh surface waters are in Lake Michigan and its four sister lakes — Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario — which are under major stress from invasive species, manure and chemical runoff and other legacy problems which Trump’s budget as proposed would absolutely worsen.

Trump’s jargon-addicted budget drafters say state and local governments could pick up the loss of hundreds of millions of federal dollars annually which the Great Lakes and the economies they support need to survive – –

States may be able to adjust to reduced funding levels by reducing or eliminating additional activities not required under federal law, prioritizing programs and seeking other funding sources, including fees,” the budget office’s written narrative says.

– – thus displaying Team Trump’s abject ignorance about the paper-thin budgeting margins these governments already live with and further ignorance of taxpayer efforts at Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach and elsewhere along the Lakefront to keep the Great Lakes clean.

The Trump budget also wipes out a similar clean-up plan for the Chesapeake Bay watershed and cuts the US EPA budget by about one-third.

I guess if you’re cutting the Medicaid/health insurance and other social safety net programs, it makes ‘logical’ sense to cut the environment’s safety net programs, too.

But does it make sense for Republicans representing Great Lakes states to support the cuts in funding for the Great Lakes?

A solid wall of Wisconsin Republican elected officials – – Walker, Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Johnson, et al, in our state which borders and relies upon two of the five Great Lakes and has already under our Brown Water Governor flouted exiting clean water obligations, reduced water pollution inspection and enforcement and tolerated more phosphorous discharges impairing lakes and rivers that pollute the very Great Lakes Trump would officially ignore – – told presidential election voters here repeatedly that Trump was the best person to put into office and to write the next federal budget.

Because Trump would come under the purportedly expert insider tutelage of Ryan and fellow Wisconsinite Reince Priebus, who, like Walker and the rest of his in-state Ignoramus Caucus would rather cut taxes for their wealthy donors than make sure everyone else had swimmable, fishable rivers and lakes, Great and otherwise.

Somehow all these incompetents and ideologues got on board their preferred Ship of Fools to the obvious detriment of our state and region’s most important and already greatly endangered water resource and economic driver – – the Great Lakes.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment

Categories: Environment, Op-Ed, Politics

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