Shorting Great Lake initiative makes no sense

The Trump administration still doesn’t get that the Great Lakes are a national treasure, an environmental boon, source of drinking water for tens of millions and a generator of billions in annual wages.

Latest evidence: President Donald Trump’s budget again takes the hatchet to Great Lakes funding, proposing to eliminate nearly 90 percent of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative spending by cutting the current from $298 million to $30 million.

Ironically, $30 million is the same as the high end of White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s estimates for the cost of the president’s proposed military parade. A parade won’t improve the nation’s bottom line. Spending on Great Lakes protections has had an ongoing positive impact on earnings and private investment.

Luckily, President Trump’s misguided Great Lakes budget cuts will not pass muster with either Republican or Democratic lawmakers who recognize that protecting Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes is in the national interest — and who successfully beat back the president bid last year to zero out GLRI funding. …

Still, it’s troubling that the Trump administration continues to ignore the evidence of the worth of this spending and of the national support for Great Lakes protections. …

Shorting the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative makes no sense — and would do lasting damage to this region’s future. Fortunately, Ohio’s congressional delegation and other Great Lakes lawmakers understand that and appear determined to resist the administration’s shortsighted cuts. They must.

— Cleveland Plain Dealer, Feb. 20