So is this how Donald Trump is going to make America great again?
An America that claims it can't afford to subsidize Meals on Wheels programs for elderly folks who are homebound?
An America that doesn't support a public broadcasting and television network that, as one proponent said, treats us like citizens, not simply as consumers?
An America that doesn't have a viable passenger rail service to connect hundreds of thousands of rural travelers to the rest of the country?
An America that doesn't support the arts, music or the humanities — programs that have a huge impact on a country's culture and the collective imagination of all its citizens, rich and poor?
An America that provides only minimal support to its network of national parks that presidents for decades have preserved for the enjoyment of their people forever?
An America that ostensibly can't afford to fund as much medical research as it used to, provide as much heating aid to the poor, provide after-school snacks for kids, or continue helping programs that counsel victims of rape or domestic violence?
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An America that refuses to cooperate with the rest of the civilized world on helping reduce carbon emissions to protect the health and welfare of our future generations?
An America that returns to the days of the world's most expensive health care system, which left nearly 50 million Americans without coverage, a substantial number of them kids?
An America that provides fewer safeguards to protect workers' rights in dealing with their sometimes-capricious employers, or consumers in dealing with unscrupulous banks and corporate giants? A country returned to the days of caveat emptor?
While we're living in an America like that, I suppose we can take solace in the fact that we will spend up to 20 percent more on the already-most-expensive military in the world, one that costs Americans more than the next seven largest countries combined. And spends billions on a useless wall to "fix" our immigration problem, plus millions of dollars more to arrest and deport illegal immigrants, sometimes separating parents from their kids who are U.S. citizens.
Fortunately, Trump's budget proposals aren't expected to fly — at least in the draconian form he has proposed. But they are clearly a blueprint for the road on which we will now travel.
If that is truly the return to a great America, somebody please let me stay in these good, old bad days.