Reading into Mr. Trump’s budget
On the March 13 front page, the headline “Historic cuts in Trump budget” juxtaposed oddly with the prominent “Calm before the storm” photograph. With an unusual late-season winter storm putting millions of Americans at risk, President Trump’s proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as reported in “Trump slow to staff key science positions,” [PowerPost, March 14], are hard to defend.
The National Weather Service, which is part of NOAA, uses satellites to provide critical input to the nation’s forecasters and their weather models. Their forecasts give ample warning for storm crews to hook up their plows and load salt into trucks. Families buy groceries and other supplies, make arrangements to work from home and plan child care. Lives are saved. This represents the weather service at work providing a critical public good.
Draconian budget cuts to forecasters, satellites and the research scientists who keep improving the predictions jeopardize an invaluable benefit. We need to preserve NOAA.
John Green, Silver Spring
In his March 16 op-ed, “Shear this government frill,” George F. Will dismissed the National Endowment for the Arts. A nation that does not promote and support the arts is without a soul. Art and the appreciation of art are essential to an enlightened society.
As we watch our government move to strip support for all things truly beneficial to its citizens while increasing an already bloated military, we should understand that the promulgation of barbarism over civilization, of which art is a vital component, has historically been the defining reason for the failure of humanity to create a peaceful world that provides for the health, welfare and spiritual enlightenment of the human race.
The cutting of programs that promote and advance civilization is the triumph of our obscene national materialism over truth, justice and compassion. It is barbarism.
Man does not live by bread (or “macaroni and cheese,” per Mr. Will) alone, but materialism is the true religion of America and of the modern-day warlords whom an unenlightened nation has chosen to be its leaders.
Norman Dovberg, Reston