The Trump Administration Is A Policy Nightmare

But it wouldn’t be that different from what most Republicans would support–we’ll revisit this point at the end. Recently, an internal White House memo, a policy wish list, was leaked. Here’s what’s good policy in it:

  1. Formalize of the Deep Space Gateway at NASA, and this will likely be part of their
    budget request.
    I’ll chalk this up as a good thing, though there are good arguments against the program. The reality, though, probably will be that the choice is between the DSG or nothing, not DSG or something good.
  2. Electronic healthcare records funding for the Veterans Administration. Sure, why not?
  3. A USAID “Child Rape prevention initiative. There really isn’t a pro-kiddie rape position. But this is to come at the expense of USAID programs that educate girls because, shit, they should all be barefoot and pregnant anyway, amirite?
  4. “USAID – Global Health bureau: Increase funding for TB (last year’s was cut, this was
    not good policy for global health security), increase funding for antibiotic resistance
    This is good, but it will come at the expense of family planning efforts. We’ll have more to say about that in the next section.
  5. At CDC, tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections will receive more funding. There is also a “Tb elimination push” (though that’s really hard). Communicable diseases are to be the main priority. Of course, in keeping with a common theme, the CDC should “shift money away from chronic disease (esp playgrounds/nutritional nannying)
    state grant programs” because who cares about a bunch of fucking fatties.
  6. “Would like to see an adolescent risk reduction initiative at CDC that combines funding
    for all risks (substance abuse, suicide/MH, sexual risks, etc).” Very nebulous, but, sure who’s against this in principle?

That’s it. Before we get to the bad, I don’t know what this means regarding NIH grant funding:

NIH: new investigator initiatives, such as the 2-3 grants and you’re done.

Does this mean an investigator can only hold two or three grants at a time? No idea (I’m sure Trump doesn’t know). Anyway, onto the bad stuff:

  1. Defunding USAID programs that educate girls (see previous list). Because they’re assholes.
  2. From above, “”shift money away from chronic disease (esp playgrounds/nutritional nannying)
    state grant programs.”
  3. In multiple places, the document pushes for a shift from risk reduction in sexual behavior to sexual abstinence programs. That’s really others’ bailwick, but, suffice it to say, this is bad.
  4. Weaken federal worker compensation. Rather than viewing this as an opportunity to improve conditions for private sector workers, federal workers’ will be dragged down to private sector wages. While Republicans talk a good game about this, there are a lot of federal workers, and I’m not sure this will go over well. Some of the other fun stuff is they want a pay freeze in 2019. Also, they want to reduce paid leave to “private sector norms.”
  5. The Office of Labor-Management Standards will get more funding to “to fulfill its
    mission of robustly investigating union corruption.”
    Nothing for the SEC, but whatever floats your boat.
  6. Reallocating PEPFAR funding to “sexual risk avoidance rather than risk reduction.” Again, sexual risk avoidance doesn’t reach many STI spreaders, such as sex workers and transient workers.
  7. Completely defund the United Nations Population Fund which, among other things leads campaigns against obstetric fistulas and female genital mutilation. Because naughty bits are naughty!
  8. Restart the Kemp-Kasten clock. This is wonky, but it’s important. The Bush Administration–which to too many Democrats is now the BEST ADMINISTRATION EVAR*–used Kemp-Kasten to convince other countries to cut off funding to family planning organizations, including private ones, that had any interactions with China.
  9. At the CDC, these areas will be cut: “environmental health, injury prevention (except opioids
    work), Occupational Safety.”
    These are horrible people.
  10. Teen pregnancy efforts need “to be defunded as it has not worked, there is no positive
    evidence and some negative evidence. Instead we should work with adolescents on
    sexual risk avoidance and fertility awareness methods.”
    Teen pregnancy is lower than it was decades ago. By all means then, let’s throw what worked overboard.
  11. “Childhood obesity: this is a priority of the Secretary for inexplicable reasons. Whatever
    has been designated to it should probably be reversed. Not a priority of this
    Not sure which secretary is being referred to, but fatties, amirite?
  12. End the Public Health Prevention “slush fund.” Probably used to buy Obamaphones.
  13. “Healthy Start should be CUT, not increased as it was in 2018. The program has been
    proven not to contribute to improved outcomes for disadvantaged children, and the
    money should instead go towards high-quality, affordable childcare, since that’s really all
    this program is supposedly serving as – it’s not an educationally successful program.
    Perhaps divert to Kara/Ivanka-type programs.”
    Kara/Ivanka-type programs. Oh shit.
  14. The Office of Civil Rights will receive a “new conscience protection unit plus-up.” What this means is rightwing wackaloons who claim they’ve been discriminated against because they “objected to, participated in, or refused to participate in specific medical procedures, including abortion and sterilization, and related training and research activities” will find it easier to bring lawsuits.

I didn’t even go through the SNAP ‘reforms’, agricultural, or healthcare stuff.

After reading this list, this is really no different than what any other Republican administration would propose in 2017. Not some mythical Republican Party (when Tip ‘n Ronnie had drinks together!), but the actual, existing Republican Party. This is basically a wish-list for the religious right and big business, with some Big Gummint hate ladled on top. Yes, Trump is a full-blown narcissist–and he is ill. But any Republican administration would be pushing this crap.

Trump is awful, but Republicans, even without Trump, would be pushing all of this horrible policy.

*Torture, you dumb motherfuckers. Torture.

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