More Than A Budget

Normally, it isn’t nice to speak ill of the dead. But sometimes one has to make an exception. Tr-mp’s budget offering to Congress (which actually only addresses discretionary spending by the government, not mandatory spending involving SS, Medicare, and Medicaid) is one of those exceptions. Although the budget is dead—actually it was still-born—it deserves to be called out for what it is. And Vox’s Dylan Matthews did just that:

Budgets are moral documents, and Trump’s is a moral failure

Most people don’t see budgets as moral documents. But what else could they be, especially discretionary budgets? Such documents tell us what the regime’s priorities are, what Tr-mp and his cronies consider to be important. And as Matthews says of this budget proposal, “the moral consequences of its implementation would be profound, and negative.”

Matthews, with help from the Center for American Progress, offers some reasons why that is so:

♦ Tr-mp cuts programs that help low-income Americans, like nutrition help for women and their kids (a $200 million cut in WIC).

♦ Tr-mp completely eliminates the popular “Meals on Wheels” program for the elderly.

♦ If Tr-mp had his way, there would be no more legal assistance for the poor, even in a justice system that already discriminates against them.

♦ A program designed to help low-income families with their utility bills in extreme cold and hot weather is eliminated.

♦ Job training programs for the poor and elderly, designed to get them back in the labor force, are gone.

♦ The Community Services Block Grant gets killed. Thus, no more funds for local efforts to help impoverished folks, some of whom, undoubtedly, voted for Tr-mp.

♦ The EPA’s budget is slashed (thank you, Jill F*cking Stein), meaning:

There’s no money to enforce the Clean Power Plan. There’s no EPA funding for climate research. The Energy Department’s clean energy R&D programs would be eliminated or scaled back. The State Department would have its climate programs cut. NASA and NOAA would see climate-related research money cut.

Dylan Matthews says:

These cuts might be less significant to the future course of climate change than Trump’s efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan itself. But they nonetheless are a strong signal that the Trump administration just doesn’t care about the climate at all. And that’s terrifying.

It’s terrifying especially for the world’s poorest people, who are the “most vulnerable to climate change.” Matthews adds:

Vox’s Dave Roberts has argued that Trump’s election ended whatever hope there was of avoiding 2ºC of warming, after decades of climate negotiations centered around that threshold. The budget suggests that Roberts was right. The world’s poor — and the environment as a whole — will pay the price.

Make no mistake about it when Republicans are in power: the poor always pay the price. Always.

♦ The Tr-mp moral blueprint would also cut the State Department’s budget by a whopping 28%. No one knows exactly what that might mean in terms of our long-term ability to avoid wars, which, last time I checked, is part of the reason the State Department exists. But we know it likely means guns, not words, will help settle, or not settle, more conflicts in the future.

♦ One explicit cut in the State Department’s budget is to a fund that helps refugees, like those unfortunate fouls in Syria trying to escape ISIS and other terrorists we say we hate. But we don’t hate those terrorists as much as we hate to help the people they are killing and terrorizing.

Image result for evangelicals for trumpThis would be a good time to remind you that we are called a “Christian” nation by the evangelicals who flocked to Tr-mp last November. Ignoring fleeing refugees overseas, hurting the poor and elderly here at home, denying a changing climate that will hurt, first, the most vulnerable, and then everyone else, is what conservative Christianity—Tr-mpism behind a cross—looks like when it gets its hands on political power.

Yes, Tr-mp’s budget is definitely a moral document. But, because of how he came to power, with the critical help of right-wing zealots who had Jesus on their lips if not in their hearts, it is also a theological document. And the God this document represents is one cruel, heartless bastard.


UPDATED! UPDATED! Christian Values Voters: Obama Hates America

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

     —Sabine Baring-Gould
UPDATE 9/20/2010: Rachel Maddow did a segment on the revival of the Culture War, featuring the Christian Right:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
This morning I heard on television a couple of talking heads tell us that the Tea Party movement is fueled by fear over the national debt and government spending and their angst had little to do with the social issues that perennially haunt our politics, like abortion rights and homosexual equality.
The consensus was that the teapartiers are so scared for our children’s and grandchildren’s economic future that the old divisive moral issues are just not that important to them.  

Well, I realize that’s a popular notion, and there is certainly some truth to the idea that many people are worried sick over Republican economic chickens roosting in Obama’s nest, but it overlooks one important fact: The so-called social conservatives—the self-described Values Voters—don’t see it that way at all. 

They see a definite link between what they perceive to be the Democrats’ socialistic tinkering with the economy and Democratic support of abortion rights and the “gay agenda” and other ungodly horrors. If you don’t believe me, just listen to Mitt Romney at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit on Friday:  

…what is occurring in America today is different than simply a shift in seats. And it is not merely the result of disappointment or anger, though there may well be reason for both. 

What is being felt in America today is more profound than that, more solemn, more sober. Americans believe that Washington is threatening the very foundations of what has made America, America. Washington is assaulting America’s values. It is endeavoring to change what this nation has been, to change what it is, and to change what it is destined to become.

This room is filled every year by citizens—modern patriots—who are passionate about America’s values. These values include the sanctity of life and the preservation of marriage. But the Obama Administration has taken its assault to even more American values. The American people have finally seen Obama liberalism for what it is; they have seen the counterfeit values that underlie it, and they want none of it! 

Romney wasn’t the only one of the Christian Values Voter Summit speakers who connected the Tea Party movement with the vision of Christian moralists, who want American social values to mirror the values of fundamentalists and evangelicals, derived from Iron Age books and pre-Enlightenment theology.   

It’s just that Romney is supposed to be a serious candidate for the presidency in 2012, unlike the Michele Bachmans and Rick Santorums and Gary Bauers and other assorted guardians of God’s values, who believe they can use the Tea Party movement as a vehicle to achieve a quasi-theocratic state, a quasi-theocratic Christian state. 

That state would be one in which, in the name of “liberty” and in the name of God, women would be forced to bear children against their will—even children conceived through rape;  it would be a state in which, in the name of “freedom” and in complete allegiance to an ancient ignorance, gays and lesbians would be denied equal protection under the law and would be banished from the military, from serving their country, at a great cost to our national security.  

Whether a majority of Tea Party true-believers conceive of their movement this way doesn’t really matter.  Because the Romneys and Gingrichs and Huckabees are unquestionably using the Tea Party movement to further their own parochial political interests and are using it to force the agenda of the religious right down the throats of all Americans. 

And if Democrats and other like-minded folks don’t get to the polls this November, it won’t just be a mid-term shellacking of Democratic candidates we have to worry about.   

Christian Values Voters are marching toward us, dressed in the armor of God.

If you don’t think these people are a little unhinged; if you don’t believe that they hate a fellow Christian, Barack Obama, like the devil himself; if you don’t worry that they may get their righteous hands on the government throttle; I present below a short video clip and the accompanying transcript  featuring a speaker at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. 

Just keep in mind that the people before whom this man was speaking (and laughing) are the same people who invite you to church to worship Jesus and who claim that they represent a Loving Savior:   

Vodpod videos no longer available.

We have an administration today—I may get arrows and bullets shot at me or something—but  the thing about that is we have a guy that hates America. I’m just going to say it, okay?  Until we get rid of Barry or Barack—I haven’t seen his little feet on that birth certificate, so I don’t know what he is, right?

Onward, Christian Soldiers! Marching as to war!

[Romney photo:Mark Wilson, Getty Images]
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