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:
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.
This 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.