Donald Trump, through his newly proposed budget, aims to severely cut E.P.A. and State Department funding. His plan would also be a kick in the head (and in some cases, a fatal blow) to nearly twenty federal agencies. This would include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which means that PBS and NPR now precariously hang in the balance, along with arts endowments. And there’s one incredibly cruel budget cut that Trump hopes to make, which would scrap vital funding from the Meals on Wheels program.
The president aims to do so by abolishing the entire $3 billion budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program. This would, of course, torpedo services for low-income citizens, including the beloved meal program that delivers food to those who are homebound for various reasons. That includes the needy, disabled, elderly, and veterans. The latter two collectives often sit squarely in the Republican voter base, which makes this Trump move not only cruel but clueless. For a man who’s already holding reelection rallies for 2020, Trump sure doesn’t seem to care about voter remorse or backlash.
While this is potentially devastating news, New York Times points out that the feeling of despair may not last. Meals on Wheels does receive some other funding, so it might technically survive, but the number of citizens that it feeds will be drastically reduced. Also, the mere thought of hurting Meals on Wheels will likely spur so much Congressional outrage — and think of all the constituent phone calls that must be going down right now — that Trump may have placed his whole proposed budget in jeopardy:
In recent years, far smaller proposed cuts to the popular grant program, which includes flexible funding for a variety of housing and community projects, created a bipartisan uproar that nearly scuttled the entire budget-making process.
Presumably, Trump’s merrily slashing everything to making more budget room for tax credits and cuts, plus $54 billion more in annual military spending to “start winning wars again.” If you haven’t seen the Twitter outrage on behalf of Meals on Wheels today, much of it is currently going down under the #LetThemDie hashtag … for obvious reasons.