Feed Your Head

I was watching a cable news show the other night with the lovely Missus when former Labor Secretary and the new head of the DNC, Tom Perez(a Buffalo native, btw) was being interviewed about the new Trump budget proposal. During the interview, Perez said something similar to this:

“Budgets are moral documents,” he said. “They reflect the values of any government and when you’re compromising clean air, clean water, and lead, you’re making a statement about communities you don’t care about.

http://fortune.com/2017/03/16/trump-budget-tom-perez/

Although this is apparently a well known and common talking point in Washington, it was new to me.  It struck me as a pretty astute way to think about it. The way in which we choose to spend federal tax dollars is a reflection of our priorities and by extension, of our morals.  What knowledge can we glean about Trump’s moral code, based on his budget proposal?

The EPA budget would be severely slashed.  The president does not believe in climate change(facts be damned) and apparently, doesn’t much care about clean air or water.  Fine, he has a different point of view.  Maybe you could possibly argue that this is not a moral issue, just a difference of opinion(facts be damned).

The NEA and Public Broadcasting would lose all of their funding because we should not be paying for them while we have such a large deficit.   Never mind the joy derived from them and the lives changed by them.  We have a $54 billion increase in defense spending to pay for.  Priorities.  Morals.  I feel safer already.  How about you?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-budget-20170315-story.html

Never mind that we already spend way more on military and defense than any other country in the world.  By far.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

And then there is Meals on Wheels.  This is where there is just no gray area concerning morals.  I mean, come on, we’re talking about feeding people in need.  We are the richest country in the history of the world.  Are you really saying that we don’t have the money to feed hungry people?  The same goes for school lunch programs, which would also be cut.  The president actually has proposed that we stop feeding people in need with federal money.  What the hell good is having a government at all if we we can’t help our fellow citizens who need us the most?  What kind of warped moral code does our president have to propose we increase defense spending by $54 billion and stop feeding hungry people?  That’s just morally bankrupt.  There’s no valid defense for this.  None.

I put up a Facebook post about this the other day and, in the way that things happen on Facebook, a bunch of people who agreed with me commented, and if there were any who didn’t, they chose to ignore the post.  Except one person, who posted this: Nowhere in the Constitution is the directive to take care of individual needs, programs such as this contribute to the break down of the family unit.

First off, I’m far from a constitutional scholar.  I don’t care at all if there is any provision in the constitution to take care of individual needs.  Say that’s true.  That there is no way , constitutionally speaking, to allow for federal funds to be used to feed people.  That’s obviously not the case, since we’ve been doing it through Meals on Wheels since 1974, but say it’s true.  Who cares?  One in six senior citizens deal with hunger problems in our country.  It’s not just seniors.  The program feeds 500,000 veterans each year.  Remember them?  They’re the people Trump kept promising to help.

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/meals-wheels-trump-cuts

As far as “programs such as this contributing to the breakdown of the family unit”, that’s just crazy talk.  I can’t relate to that way of thinking even one bit.

People are hungry.  We have the means to help feed them.  End of story.  Don’t even get me started on the religious angle to this.

 

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2 thoughts on “Feed Your Head

  1. Your comment “What the hell good is having a government at all if we can’t help our fellow citizens who need us the most?” caused me to reflect on what this current administration really wants. They want to destroy each and every agency they were selected to run. Bannon admitted this in this article

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/2/23/1637009/-Bannon-Reveals-His-Intention-To-Deconstruct-The-Administrative-State-i-e-Destroy-The-Country

    We the people need to push back and push back hard on this horrific administration through activism in its purest form. The definition of activism is: the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. Democracy isn’t free.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The president can only suggest a budget. The House actually puts the budget together and then both house vote on it and the President will sign it. There will be a lot of back and forth on the budget before it is all said and done.
    Federal money is a small part of the meals on wheels program, it may not even be missed, but they would have to make it up in donation of both food and time.
    A number of the cuts to some of the organizations can be offset with more donations and private funding which in some cases is a large share of their money anyway and not the federal government.
    As for the EPA, lets just say in my profession the EPA does more harm then good. That’s not to say there is not a need for the EPA, but the agency has been over reaching for years with a number of policy’s and directives that either serve no purpose or make little is any sense.

    Like

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