Budget director Mick Mulvaney parsing words after cutting grants for food for the hungry.
David Brooks wants Trump to unleash Steve Bannon.
As I read Brooks (so you don’t have to and throw up your breakfast) I kept visualizing unleashing Ulysses.
He would more than likely crap in a neighbor’s yard.
Maybe that’s what Brooks means.
The Trib’s Mary Schmich thinks we’re making too big a deal about the cuts to Meals on Wheels and parrots the Mulvaney line.
See. Technically they are not cutting Meals on Wheels. It is not a federal program. They are cutting the block grants to states that may or may not already fund food to the homebound and elderly and hungry kids. So, it is not fair to say we are cutting that particular program.
Mulvaney defends cutting breakfast programs for kids because there is no evidence that they do better in school as a result. Our society’s responsibility to feed hungry kids frozen french toast sticks and tater tots because they are hungry is not reason enough.
We want measurable results. How do you measure hunger, after all?
If you can’t weigh it, count it, measure it and show an economic return, what is the point?
There has been a bi-partisan war on the poor since Ronald Reagan. Maybe earlier. But let’s start there.
The Trump budget is a major escalation of the continuing bi-partisan war on the poor.
Consider a NY Times editorial in 1981 when Reagan was president.
Poor people, especially those able and willing to go to school and to work, will suffer from the cuts that have already gone into effect. Consider the changes Congress has approved in Aid to Families with Dependent Children. It has lowered the amount and duration of permissible outside earnings and slashed the allowances for work-related expenses like child care. Think what effects those changes are likely to have; encouraging poor parents to take jobs is not among them.
If the Administration persists in trying to wring so many more billions out of domestic spending, it has essentially three options. It could force still more working poor out of social programs by outlawing, not merely curtailing, outside earnings. It could reduce benefit levels by compelling recipients to put up some cash for food stamps or health care expenses. Or it could try to thrust more of the burden onto state and local governments.
The implications of these alternatives are obvious – and ominous. The new eligibility rules have already forced 11 percent of the 3.9 million families off welfare and reduced benefits for an additional 279,000. Does anyone really think the relief rolls contain many thousands more, even worse off, who are capable of surviving without help? Or that many Medicaid recipients could pay some health care costs? And if Washington lays off even more of the burden onto lower levels of government, it will be left with the cruel choice between raising taxes and lowering benefits.
Recall Bill Clinton’s ending welfare as we know it.
Today, in large part because of welfare reform, the safety net—the set of government efforts to come to the aid of the country’s citizens when they are down on their luck, much of which has existed since the Great Depression—is thin and getting thinner. And this thinning goes beyond welfare, which gives needy families cash support: On April 1, between 500,000 and one million childless adults will lose access to food stamps (officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). This is the belated consequence of a rule that was part of Clinton’s welfare reform, which stipulated that childless adults can only receive three months of food stamps if they aren’t employed at least 20 hours a week or in a training program. For years states received waivers for the rule, but in many states, governors have chosen not to ask for extensions for this year.
If passed, Trump’s war on the poor will make matters infinitely worse for most of us.
If the GOP Congress tweaks it, it will still be bad.
It will be a major escalation of a bi-partisan war that has been waged on poor families, kids and the elderly for decades.