On Thursday, Donald Trump’s proposed budget Made America Angry Again. The president wants to cut funding to almost 20 agencies, which will largely leave Meals on Wheels in the lurch. Other beloved institutions in jeopardy include PBS and NPR, the arts and humanities, and both the E.P.A. and State Department will lose many billions in funding. Meanwhile in the Big Apple, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill is livid as well, and he slammed the budget because — in a roundabout way — it could very well “eradicate” the city’s counterterror operations.
O’Neill fired off a tweet that lamented the situation: “Entire counterterrorism apparatus in nation’s top terror target hobbled.”
Again, this would happen in a roundabout way, but O’Neill’s concerns are real. The actual Trump budget doesn’t discuss the NYPD at all. However, it does cut federal funding for any “sanctuary cities” that don’t cooperate with Trump’s big campaign against undocumented immigrants. Recently, NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio warned that Trump’s push against immigration would ultimately make New York City less safe, and it looks like that prediction may turn out to be correct.
In the meantime, it’s worth remembering that the Trump budget will strip these funds while the priority of protecting Trump Tower is costing the NYPD an ungodly amount of resources. In late February, Commissioner O’Neill detailed how much it costs to protect the landmark and maintain required security for Melania and Barron while they stay in NYC:
New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill said the “unique and unparalleled” challenge of having police and fire officials protect President Donald Trump’s family, home and office for the 75 days between Election Day and Inauguration Day comes to a cost of $25.7 million, down from an earlier estimate of $35 million.
Going forward, O’Neill said he expects the NYPD to spend between $127,000 and $146,000 per day protecting First Lady Melania Trump and her son, Barron, while they reside in Manhattan, on top of an additional $4.5 million in expenses annually for the Fire Department of New York going forward: “Trump Tower itself now presents a target to those who wish to commit acts of terror against our country, further straining our limited counterterrorism resources.”
All of this seems pretty … counterproductive.