The word does not quite cover the extent to which the proposed Trump budget cuts moneys to federal agencies, great humanitarian programs, education, culture and other things that both parties used to advocate for – until around Reagan.
Since then heartless, soulless, right wing ideological automaton budget hawks and balanced budget fetishists have been pushing these kinds of cuts in the quiet rooms of billionaire funded think tanks. But no elected official would ever actually promulgate these kinds of cuts in public for fear of being called heartless, soulless, right wing ideological automaton budget hawks – because most people of all stripes don’t generally vote for people they believe do not actually care about the least of us. You can push tough love or compassionate conservatism, which are just candy coating terms for heartless, soulless, right wing ideological automaton budget hawks, but real Simon Legree flinty greed? Not till yesterday.
They’d just push the military build up side, over and over again until we have the bloated steroid head military we have now. Or they’d talk about tax cuts and how they’d love to just eliminate taxes, shrink the government so small and tiny and weak, that a bag of blubber like Grover Norquist could drown it in a bathtub, like he does to baby ducks. Tax cuts, government shrinking, military expanding, all talked about in generalities so that people without critical thinking ability could roar “Yeah!!!” But without the budget cuts that gave them erections in the middle of the night that they could never speak of in mixed company. Not until yesterday.
The Trump/Mulvaney budget is a death panel. Trump and Mulvaney put forth a budget that would actually kill people, but with so much charm who could begrudge them acting the angel of death? In essence, Mulvaney claimed Meals on Wheels does not work. Feeding the elderly and infirm is not real compassion. It’s not compassionate to the taxpayer who has to pay for it. PBS, the National Endowment of the Arts, all bad ideas. School hot lunch programs do not work – if the idea is that it’s supposed to improve test scores, it does not work and a waste of money. Climate change spending? We’re not going to do that because that’s a waste of money.
Trump and Mulvaney are not afraid to be the comic book villains the think tanks have hoped for for a generation.
“Just to follow-up on that, you were talking about the steel worker in Ohio, coal worker in Pennsylvania, but they may have an elderly mother who depends on the Meals on Wheels program or who may have kids in Head Start,” Acosta said. “Yesterday, or the day before, you described this as a hard-power budget. Is it also a hard-hearted budget?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Mulvaney replied. “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.”
“To cut programs that help the elderly and kids?” Acosta asked, incredulously.
“You’re only focusing on half of the equation, right? You’re focusing on the 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 explained. “And I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not gonna ask you for your hard-earned money, anymore, single mother of two in Detroit … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function.’”
This proposed budget isn’t extreme. Reagan’s proposed budget in 1981 was extreme. This budget is short-sighted, cruel to the point of being sadistic, stupid to the point of pure philistinism, and shot through with the absolute and fundamentalist religious conviction that the only true functions of government are the ones that involve guns, and that the only true purpose of government is to serve the rich.