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The following quote is from an article in the New York Times about D. Trump’s new budget, which can be found here.
Hardest hit would be the Environmental Protection Agency, with a cut of 31 percent. These cuts would end climate change research — a global setback. They would eliminate money to carry out President Obama’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants — the centerpiece of his strategy to combat global warming. They also would disadvantage states that went for Mr. Trump. For Wisconsin and Michigan, for example, the budget would zero out initiatives to restore the Great Lakes. For Virginia, it would end restoration of Chesapeake Bay, whose watershed affects Pennsylvania also. Farm states, which largely supported Mr. Trump, would face a 21 percent reduction in the Department of Agriculture.
I am puzzled by the repeated and consistent use of the conditional modal verb would in the above paragraph. What meaning is it supposed to convey? If replaced by will it would imply some level of certainty on the author’s part about his inferences. Is the author therefore communicating his non-conviction in using would? If say, he is not sure, won’t it be better to use may or might instead, so as to alert the reader about this? Or is the nuance in these statements clear to a native speaker?