Less than two months in and President Donald Trump’s administration already wants to kill the nation’s largest and oldest organization that provides meals to lower-income, elderly citizens, most of whom are unable to leave their homes.
The newly proposed “America first” federal budget, which is all about aiding the rich and taking from the poor, aims to eliminate government funding for the Community Development Block Grants that endow Meals on Wheels, among other food aid programs.
During the latest White House press conference, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump’s Budget Management Director Mick Mulvaney about cutting the program that is undeniably going to affect thousands of homebound, older and disabled Americans.
Mulvaney’s response was bizarre, to say the least.
“Meals on Wheels sounds great. That's a state decision to fund that particular portion, to take the federal money and give it to the states and say, look, we to want give you money for programs that don't work. I can't defend that anymore. We cannot defend that anymore,” he told reporters. “We're $20 trillion in debt. We're going to spend money, we're going to spend a lot of money but we're not going to spend it on programs that show they deliver the promises we made to people.”
He then went on to call the dastardly budget cut “compassionate.”
“You're only focusing on half of the equation, right? You’re focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place,” Mulvaney continued. “And I think it's fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we're not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually going to be used in a proper function.’ And I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.”
As for food aid programs for children, this is what the budget director had to say:
“They're supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home get fed so they do better at school. Guess what? There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually doing that. There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually helping results, they're actually helping kids do better in school.”
It is pretty clear where Trump administration’s priorities lie.
Since these programs feed veterans, children, poor, elderly, disabled and others who are unable to leave their homes, the internet pretty much lost it at Mulvaney’s bizarre justification of the inhumane budget cut.
Let me translate this for you:— Michael Green (@andmichaelgreen) March 17, 2017
Human: DO YOU BELIEVE A CHILD OR AGED PERSON WITHOUT MONEY SHOULD STARVE?
Mulvaney says they're pulling money from Meals on Wheels because it's "not showing any results." The F-35 cost over a trillion dollars.— Brian Barrett (@brbarrett) March 16, 2017
We can't ask the public to pay for Meals on Wheels, after-school programs that provide food to poor kids, or WIC.— Jessica Piper (@Jesspiper7) March 16, 2017
-WH Budget pic.twitter.com/DzNF5wYfxN
Seeing Mulvaney today, you start to understand this whole operation is just made up of bad people.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 16, 2017
MAKE CHILDREN JOIN THE NAVY IF THEY WANT TO EAT— Luke O'Neil (@lukeoneil47) March 16, 2017
If there's so such thing as karma, one day Mulvaney will rely on a Meals on Wheels program for his food. Fucking monster!— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) March 16, 2017
mick mulvaney, two minutes later: "actually, there's no proof that food stops hunger"— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) March 16, 2017
you, a hungry child: "please sir, can i have breakfast"— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) March 16, 2017
me, a mick mulvaney: "that's not efficient"
Result of meals on wheels & after school programs. Hungry people eat food and don't die. Since when is this not enough? #Budget2017— AMSuitt (@Andersuitt) March 16, 2017
To whoever decided cutting the programs that feed children after school was a good idea, you know you're a monster right?— Sam, of Rivendell (@SamTurnage) March 16, 2017
"Meals on Wheels sounds great...but..." says Mulvaney -- in a sound bite that will be repeated over and over.— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) March 16, 2017
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque