Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Trump's Budget" or "Mick Mulvaney, You’re An Asshole"


So the Trump White House issued a issued a budget proposal on Tuesday that like most things associated with Trump is beneficial to the very rich and is a giant “fuck you” to his campaign promises to the not very rich who supported Trump in the 2016 election. 

 

Trump’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises on the campaign trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.

 

Trump also proposes some of the deepest cuts to agriculture subsidies since Ronald Reagan, squeezing out nearly $50 billion over 10 years.

 

In ten years, domestic spending would be capped at $429 billion per year while military spending soars to $722 billion.

 

The annual budget proposal – which has no chance of becoming law as proposed even though Republicans control Congress because GOP lawmakers write their own budget – serves as a starting point for negotiations and as a messaging document for the president and his party.

 

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one of the budget’s chief architects, rejected accusations that Trump’s budget unfairly targets the poor. “We need folks to work. We need people to go to work. If you’re on food stamps, and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be, we need you to work. There’s a dignity to work, and there’s a necessity to work.”

 

When I was a child, my family spent time on the food stamp program, not just when my dad was out of work. Even when he found a job, our income was still so low as to qualify us for food stamp assistance. There are millions of people in America today dealing with that same reality: even with jobs, they don’t earn enough. Even with jobs, they still struggle to climb up over the poverty line.

 

And that’s assuming there’s a job to be found. The level of desperation that drove people to vote for that idiot Trump was they thought they had been ignored by the system and by the economic recovery since the Great Recession. These are people who have been unemployed or under employed or under paid for nearly a decade.    

 

“There’s a dignity to work”? There a lot of Americans desparate to have that dignity. But until then, they need help.

 

Mick Mulvaney, you’re an asshole.

 

Trump’s budget would tighten the belt on programs for low-income families ranging from cash assistance to the child tax credit. Nearly $200 billion in cuts will come directly from the federal food stamp program, which helps feed 44 million people each year.

 

Trump would also slash $72 billion by tightening the rules for programs for people with disabilities — programs that Trump’s advisers have described as riddled with fraud and abuse. A federal watchdog, however, found last year that 17 anti-fraud programs already exist.

 

Mulvaney said, “We looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills.” 

 

Mick Mulvaney, you’re an asshole. AND a total dick. 

 

Let me be honest: I don’t like taxes. They are a burden, an annoyance. I pay property taxes on the Fortress of Ineptitude and one other home. And two cars. I pay sales tax on everything I buy. My income is taxed by the state of North Carolina and the United States government. That’s a lot of taxes! As one of the people who are actually paying the bills, Mr. Mulvaney, if you were to cut my taxes to zero, I would love that. Yay! No more taxes! I would take that!

 

Mick Mulvaney, you would still be an asshole. AND a total dick. And you know what? So would I! Fuck you, people in need! My taxes are gone! Woo-hoo!!!!

 

Who we are is best revealed by how we respond to those who are worse off than ourselves. Yes, Mr. Mulvaney, save me some money on my taxes but let’s not forget why we pay those taxes. To make sure that our nation is strong, healthy and safe. This condition is not a privilege of only the rich; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a privilege that is shared by all Americans. Whacking away at social safety net programs like the Grim Reaper wildly swinging his scythe does not make the people of this nation strong, healthy or safe. When the least of us is denied access to the American dream, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we are diminished as a nation

 

Democrats vowed on Tuesday to ensure that the GOP pays a political price for the massive social safety-net cuts in Trump's budget, regardless of whether Congress follows through on enacting them.

 

But even some Republicans — both inside and outside Congress — say they’re worried about the sheer magnitude of the proposed cuts.

 

“I’m deeply concerned about the severity of the domestic cuts,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). Rogers has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s proposed cuts to programs that benefit rural regions like his home state, like the Appalachian Regional Commission.

 

“I think we do need healthcare reform. I think we do need welfare reform. But the kinds of reductions that he’s talking about go exactly against the states that brought [Trump] to the dance, so to speak,” said G. William Hoagland, a former long-time Republican Senate budget aide.

 

He added, “The argument can be made that there are certainly programs that are not achieving their goals. That doesn’t mean we should take the money away and forget about it.”

 

The Trump White House budget proposal is just that, a proposal. Congress controls the purse strings and it's they that set the budget. But this proposal sets the baseline for budget negotiation and the message it sends should be a cold, sobering take on what Trump and his cronies really think: it’s the bottom line vs. human compassion.

 

And the bottom line is winning. 

Whatever Doesn't Kill Obamacare...

There's an expression that "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."   Me, I tend to be a bit more cynical: "...