President Donald Trump is once again calling for the elimination of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in his latest budget proposal — an entity that helps to fund PBS, NPR and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Hill reported that Trump also proposed doing away with the popular programs in his previous two budgets.
The president’s 2020 budget proposal was released in full on Monday, after reports indicated last week that it would be historic in terms of spending — a total of $4.7 trillion on discretionary and mandatory programs — and provide a boost to the military while taking the axe to domestic programs.
Trump suggests “scrapping $435 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and $126 million from the NEA, leaving both with a few million dollars to manage an orderly shutdown,” The Hill said.
The White House has argued that federal funding for public broadcasting is merely a sliver of overall funds for stations like PBS and NPR, but critics of the move say that cutting the purse strings will harm the stations in rural areas, where ad revenue is not enough to keep operations running.
As for the arts, the proposal states that “The Administration does not consider NEA activities to be core Federal responsibilities.”
When Trump made similar proposals last year, Robert Lynch, president and CEO of the Americans for the Arts, told The Washington Post that the move is short-sighted.
“It’s sad, illogical and it will be damaging,” he lamented. “All the data, everything, points to the fact that investment in the arts industry has been a big win, economically and job-wise. ”