A couple ways Trump’s budget would hurt Nevada’s economy

The federal government provided $17 million for popular community block grants in Nevada a couple years ago. It was supposed to provide $9 million to help poor people pay their damned power bills this year. Those are some of the things that will be eliminated under Trump’s budget. Include other cuts — from EPA jobs and funding to education grants and on and on — and Nevada, like every state, will take an economic hit if Trump’s budget were to survive. Because, you see, there will be less money in the economy.

The elimination of the Energy Department Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) might be good for Elon Musk though. If groundbreaking research were to develop cheaper, more efficient batteries than the oldy-timey lithium stuff Tesla & Panasonic are building, that research would be financed by ARPA-E. Under Trump’s budget, we won’t have to worry about that.

Alas, the overall curtailment of federal spending on scientific research also means it will be a lot harder for UNLV to build the Southern Nevada research infrastructure necessary for the region’s economic diversification.

But DOE would get $120 million to resuscitate licensing of the nuclear waste dump up yonder highway. Maybe that would offset harm inflicted on Nevada’s economy from the other cuts! Then again, maybe not. Nuclear industry consultants can suck up $120 million lickety-split, and there’s no guarantee that much of that money would actually be spent in Nevada.

Of course, since Yucca Mountain is in there, Dean Heller simply can not vote for Trump’s budget.

And maybe that’s why Yucca is in there. Heller can demand that Yucca be taken out – or at least the funding somewhat curtailed – and then when Trump agrees, Heller can declare victory — he “fought hard!” —  and merrily vote for all the other mean-spirited, counter-productive nonsense in Trump’s budget. Spending cuts is a cult obsession with Republicans, so Heller very likely heartily approves of the overall budget anyway, despite (because of?) the pain and suffering it will inflict on the economy, communities, and poor people who would have to live without heating and air conditioning in their over-priced apartments from now on.


Now for kicks let’s add Trumpcare to the mix. People who can’t afford air conditioning will also be without health coverage, so if they or their children get sick — during one of those stretches when the heat hits the teens, perhaps — emergency rooms will have to pass costs on to everybody else (more specifically, in UMC’s case, taxpayers, which is why all the other — for-profit — hospitals prefer that ambulances take poor people to UMC). Of course some people will insist on having health coverage even if it is much more expensive, which under Trump care it will be, because they need it. That means they won’t have money left over to buy other things, which is just more bad bad bad for the economy. So presumably Heller will vote for Trumpcare too.