US cut Special Olympics funding - Shameful and unjustifiable

Figures, despite their precision, are not always easily grasped. This time last year, US president Donald Trump asked Congress for $639bn in military spending, a 10% increase.

America spends more than the OECD average on education. However, its students are falling behind on literacy and numeracy despite a budget of $68bn in 2016.

For most of us, $68bn — €60.5bn — is difficult to appreciate, to be comfortable with. Therefore, $639bn — €538bn — seems off the scale, as remote as one of space’s most distant stars.

However, a figure like $13.6m — €12.11m — is not so intimidating, such a figure lost its sit-up-and-take-notice oomph years ago. After all, America’s Government Accountability Office recorded that Mr Trump’s four trips to his Florida home in 2017 cost €13.6m, or nearly $1m a day.

This week, Mr Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, decided to cut funding for America’s Special Olympics organisation.

The $17.6m cut came as the US’s Education Department faces a budget reduction of 10%. Mr Trump’s budget for next year has cut funding for education for the third year in a row but prioritises military spending and his wall along America’s border with Mexico.

Unlike figures, actions are usually easily grasped. This proposal shows billionaire class ruling America in a way that is almost shaming, even to think about.

Let’s hope Donald Tusk reserved enough space.

More on this topic

New US sanctions permanently close road for diplomacy, says Iran

Donald Trump softens stance against Iran after US drone shot down

Bear locks itself into US home and sleeps in wardrobe

US blacklists five Chinese technology companies

More in this Section

Fine Gael seat in jeopardy as long as row is allowed fester

Off-radar pay deal for judges: Tory Boy tag is beginning to ring true

Ivan Cooper 1944-2019: We need more of his type

A jolting warning: Death on the Rio Grande


Review: Lauryn Hill proves she still has that thing

Darina Allen: A celebration of Irish produce

Gone to pot: Leading psychiatrist on the cannabis debate

Why London is the perfect hunting ground for antique lovers this month

More From The Irish Examiner