I was raised in large part by my grandparents. They were born in 1916 and 1918 and endured some of the most abysmal eras of American racism this country has ever seen outside of slavery. They were the rocks of my life. They were cornerstones in the structure of our family. And while they never needed Meals on Wheels, many people just like them do.
Trump’s new budget wants to cut Meals on Wheels. His crony Mulvaney doesn’t seem to think it works. As a matter of fact, he sees the cut as an act of compassion. Borrowing a concept from Joe Kennedy III, the GOP and I must have different ideas re: the meaning of compassion.
Kennedy went on to say, referring to scripture, “the one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but how we care for the least among us.”
Far-right/Tea Party Republicans (Also, sidebar: but is it not ironic that a party named after an act of civil disobedience hates civil disobedience and whines about protests like ALL the time?) claim to be the champions of Christianity, but their behaviors are anything but Christian. They aren’t looking out for those among us who have the least; however, they certainly seem to be looking out for those who are powerful.
Meals on Wheels, a program designed to serve “seniors threatened with hunger and social isolation,” serves over 2.4 million people. 64% of these people are women. 40% live below the poverty line. For most, the interaction with Meals on Wheels volunteers is the only human contact they get. Just ONE of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago vacations could fund the program for a year. And yet, the GOP wants to cut it to give more money to the Department of Defense. That’s a disgrace. And it is aggressively unchristian.
Mulvaney also bashes programs that provide impoverished children with free lunches at school. Apparently, there’s no positive impact there, either. According to this report, 7 million children receive free or reduced lunch through federally funded programs. These programs have proven positive impacts on academic performance and often provide children with the only meals they will eat that day. But I guess, to the GOP, that doesn’t matter.
To Trump’s team, it seems the only thing that matters is ensuring that their pockets are lined and their privilege is protected. To do this, they have no problem exploiting the disadvantaged and metaphorically suffocating those who have the most need. Thankfully, some reasonable Republicans are willing to stand up to their white nationalist puppet, but not enough.
This new budget allocates $54 billion for defense spending. Trump wants big toys so he can play war. It includes a $4.1 billion dollar chunk for the infamous border wall. I guess he couldn’t get Mexico to pay, huh? It also includes a 31% cut to the EPA and a 28% cut to the State Department/USAID. Climate change and foreign aid? Well one is “not real” and one isn’t “America First,” soooo….
It would also include, on top of cuts to Meals on Wheels, cuts to programs that help impoverished people heat their homes, support job training opportunities, and ensure access to clean water. Climate change programs will be shattered and before-and-after care programs for schools will be dismantled.
Who do you think will suffer under these massive cuts? Do you think it will be the rich, white men that line Trump’s cabinet and the bulk of the GOP? No. It will be the poor, the elderly, the people of color… it will be those among us who are already living at a disadvantage. Trump’s strategy seems to be to kick us while we’re down while developing programs that make his rich friends richer. Trump isn’t looking out for the middle class or the working poor and if you thought he was, you got conned.
His budget is a sinister boon for elite White Nationalists that comes at the expense of the rest of us. It is oppression by systemic design. It is a starve-out strategy for elite White Nationalist control. We have no choice but to resist.