This week, the Trump Administration laid out its proposed budget to the American People. The head of the Office of Management and Budget, Nick Mulvaney, came out at a press conference and made the argument that taking away food from seniors and defunding Meals on Wheels were really acts of compassion. “Compassion to the taxpayer” as Mulvaney put it.
“Meals on Wheels sounds great,” Mulvaney said during the White House news briefing, adding that “we’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.” Mulvaney described the budget blueprint, which calls for dramatic cuts to domestic spending programs in favor of increased funding for the military, as “one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He explained that the budget proposal is compassionate to the taxpayer because it stops government spending on programs that he said have been ineffective.
This is one of those times that people who actually possess a heart look around to see if they are or aren’t alone. A time when people wonder if the whole world has flipped upside down. Compassion? Military spending over grandma’s food is “compassion?” This is the very definition of the GOP promise to “drown government in a bathtub” except now it seems that Trump, Mulvaney, and company want to toss everyone’s grandparents in there with the government for the drowning. You know, as an act of compassion.
But before everyone goes out and finds a suitable iceberg to put the elderly on, there are glimmers of hope within the GOP caucus. Furthermore, they are in places that matter. Despite the administration’s bluster about cutting everything for the sake of military spending, money is still appropriated by Congress, not the administration. One of the main players, Republican Chris Collins of New York, sits on the House appropriations committee. The people that actually allocate dollars for programs like Meals on Wheels. This is what he had to say about Trump’s plan;
“My mother-in-law, prior to her passing on, she had Meals on Wheels at her apartment, five days a week — it’s not seven days a week but they bring that extra meal(s) for on the weekends. It (was also a way) to know she was safe — she lived alone. This is the President’s budget, I’m not sure where the details came from, but I can pretty much assure America the Congressional budget — and when we get into appropriations, Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program. It is one that I would never vote to cut even one dollar.”
Check out Collins blasting Trump’s plans in the clip below;
Fortunately, Collins is not alone in his criticisms of the budget and it’s proposed draconian cuts. House speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Chuck Grassley have spoken out against Trump’s plans. Former appropriations committee chair and GOP Congressman Hal Rodgers might have summed up the reality best in a statement from his office;
In a statement, Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he was “disappointed” with the “draconian, careless and counterproductive” funding cuts, adding, “We will certainly review this budget proposal, but Congress ultimately has the power of the purse.”
Beyond various lawmakers speaking out about this budget, maybe the most important takeaway here might be for the people who voted for Trump who aren’t wealthy. OMB director Mulvaney summed up exactly what was happening and how Trump told all those people that this was what he was going to do when campaigning. As Vanity Fair reported;
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, for one, said there was no contradiction between the White House budget and Trump’s campaign promises. On the contrary, Mulvaney explained, “We went to what the president said during the campaign and we turned those policies into numbers.”
Featured image via screen capture from the video above.