Neil deGrasse Tyson said that President Trump’s proposed budget will make America “weak” and “stupid.” The famous astrophysicist tweeted that the fastest way to make America “weak,” “sick,” and “stupid” again is by cutting science funds to the agencies that support science, to the National Institutes of Health and to programs that support education.

He also mentioned that he wouldn’t want to live in a world deprived of the Arts, regarding the upcoming cuts for Art programs. deGrasse Tyson has over five million followers on Twitter, and the controversial statements spread throughout the internet on Sunday.

Neil deGrasse Tyson said that President Trump’s proposed budget will make America "weak" and "stupid." Image credit: Reddit
Neil deGrasse Tyson said that President Trump’s proposed budget will make America “weak” and “stupid.” Image credit: Reddit

In his first budget draft, President Trump proposed cuts throughout the federal government and popular programs, which could be as high as $54 billion dollars. The budget would also cut off funding for art agencies, public broadcasting, and developing groups almost entirely, and he also intends to make significant cuts to the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

The only agencies that wouldn’t suffer a fund cut under Trump’s proposed budget would be Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs. The mentioned agencies would actually receive more funding.

Trump’s expected fund cuts

The Department of Housing and Urban Development funds would be cut $6.2 billion. The Department of Transportation funds would be cut $2.4 billion. The Department of Health would suffer an astounding $12.6 billion fund cut. The Department of Education would suffer a $9 billion cut in funding, and finally, the Environmental Protection Agency’s funds would be cut off by $2.6 billion.

Furthermore, other agencies and federal programs would suffer cuts, and some even elimination. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants would be cut by $250 million, although it is a program that supports research and education on marine and coastal support.

The proposed budget would also reduce or eliminate 20 programs within the Department of Education, cease funding on the United Nations’ climate change programs, cut federal subsidies to Amtrak and stop funding the Clean Power Plan, just to name a few. The budget proposal would also terminate numerous programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

deGrasse Tyson: Twitter’s Truth Warrior

Back in 2016, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour talked to the astrophysicist about the media impact the scientist has on Twitter. They discussed deGrasse’s early years in life, which he believes caused an impact on the person he ended up becoming.

deGrasse, currently the Hayden Planetarium director, recalled being drawn to science after visiting the Planetarium. deGrasse says that nowadays, Twitter is the perfect platform to let the world know the thoughts he’s having, he just has to tighten his thoughts into 140 characters and share them with the world.

Amanpour also asked him about a recent exchange with rapper B.O.B that asked the astrophysicist proof of the Earth’s curvature. Whether the Earth is flat or not is still a common question among some people that object the Earth’s flatness.

“I’ve known that there are ‘flatter’ people out there, and in a free society I’m not going to beat you over the head and say ‘no, the Earth isn’t flat, is round’. You can think what you want in a free society. The problem arises if you think that way and have control over the thoughts of others,” said the astrophysicist to CNN. “If you’re influential as a politician or a rapper, anybody in a position of social responsibility, then it’s dangerous.”

Bound to educate

deGrasse Tyson says he is an educator and he is bound to educate citizens on matters he knows best. He believes that in dealing with Twitter trolls or people who attack him to undermine his opinion, the best way is to attempt to educate them.

“Instead of tell people what to think, I offer them tools so they can come to understand it on their own. That way they can say ‘this is true’, not because I said so but because they actually understand why,” said deGrasse Tyson. “This is hugely empowering on any educational frontier, but especially in the laws of physics, of nature and of the universe, because it’s what underpins what is going on in the world.”

deGrasse Tyson believes that in the 21st century, where innovations in science and technology are the engines of tomorrow’s economy, if you’re not speaking with knowledge and scientific facts on climate and energy – things that will affect civilization  then such person shouldn’t be in the public eye.

Tyson has always felt compelled to educate people on different matters, and he was clear on his Twitter rant on his opinion about the possible upcoming funding cuts. The last tweet he posted was regarding making America great again.

“We all want to Make America Great Again,” the astrophysicist wrote. “But that won’t happen until we first Make America Smart Again.”

Source: CNN