President Trump sent shockwaves to the world on March 16, 2017, after announcing an “America First” budget proposal of a $54 billion increase for military defense spending.
Michigan State University ROTC junior Terra Crown said the number one priority for the administration is to protect America.
“Transitions of power need to be immediate and strong, and at this point in time it is important to make a bold statement and follow through with it,” Crown said.
Trump plans to boost Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs in 2018 by 10 percent. However, instead of raising taxes, President Trump calls for a decrease in funding for activities such as arts, humanities and public broadcasting.
For national public radio and television station WKAR, federal funding is important because the station leverages its funding. The federal funding makes up about 15 percent of WKAR’s budget. The federal budget is one-sixth of the overall budget.
“It is a really successful private-public partnership where we leverage that with our viewers and listeners,” WKAR General Manager Susi Elkins said. “Then our viewers send in their own dollars in order to support the station.”
According to NPR, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning defending the blueprint budget. He rationalizes that people in poverty cannot afford taxes for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, however, they will pay for taxes supporting U.S. defense.
Elkins contradicts Mulvaney’s argument, saying that the Corporation of Public Broadcasting is the only free universal medium that provides fast information over the air, and educational programs for underprivileged families and children.
“It costs about $ 1.35 per citizen per year to support public broadcasting. And I think it is an important investment,” Elkins said.
PBS released a new national survey done by a bipartisan polling team, concluding that GOP voters oppose the elimination of federal funding for public broadcasting. The study says that “70 percent of President Trump voters want Congress to find savings elsewhere.”
“There are people who can’t afford a cable bill and there are underserved communities, and children that rely on the educational programs to learn how to read, and learn the alphabet and count,” Elkins said.
Elkins want voters and Congress to keep in mind that public broadcasting helps these children to learn before elementary school if they do not attend preschool. Elkins believes that people who can afford cable and media take it for granted, because it is ubiquitous.
“It is important to make sure that everyone has universal and free access to information and arts and culture and I think that is the fabric of our nation and it is worth supporting,” Elkins said.