While Donald Trump’s bogus claim about former President Barack Obama allegedly having Trump Tower wiretapped still won’t die, the American Health Care Act and other money matters are beginning to flare up. Like the White House’s new budget proposal for the next fiscal year, which many are criticizing for the massive cuts it would make to various public health, arts and services programs if passed. One of these is Meals on Wheels, the “oldest and largest national organization” in the country that supports around 5,000 senior nutrition programs. The effort has been going strong since 1974, but the Trump White House wants to kill it.
The whole issue came about when CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump’s Office of Budget and Management Director, Mick Mulvaney about it. Specifically, he asked about Mulvaney’s references to “the steelworker in Ohio and the coal miner in Pennsylvania” bearing the financial burdens of others. What if, Acosta surmised, they had elderly parents who depended on programs like Meals on Wheels? Wouldn’t that be the opposite of compassion? Mulvaney disagreed:
“I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do to actually… You’re only focusing on half of the equation. You’re focusing on 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. I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore.'”
“Unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function,” Mulvaney concluded. “I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.”
You can watch the full clip of his comments right here, and needless to say, Mulvaney’s explanation drew more criticisms and questions than anything else.