Monday, March 20, 2017

On Trump's "Cruel" Budget Cuts


Last week President Trump released what was meant to be part of a budget road map as Congress works on next year's budget.  Not unexpectedly the liberal media and the Democratic party attacked Trump's proposed budget cuts with a vengeance.  And some of Trump's proposed cuts had much of the Republican party in turmoil about program cuts in their districts.

In the coming weeks and months I'll write about my take on whatever budget cuts actually make it out of Congress but, for today, let me just address a couple of Trump's "cruel cuts".

First, Trump proposes that we stop giving National Public Radio and PBS a $485 million dollar government check each year.  Trump's argument is that, since PBS already airs two minutes of commercials at the beginning of each program, and since they run several broadcast fundraisers throughout the year, we ought not be giving them half a billion in taxpayer money.

I agree, and for more than one reason.  Yes, PBS (and their NPR subsidiary) do rake in billions during their fundraisers.  And yes, they do pull in money from their program sponsors.  And, as you know if you watch PBS, many of their programs lead off with an offer of thanks for a score of dead billionaires whose foundations give generous donations to PBS.  (Remember McDonald's heiress Joan Kroc's multi-billion dollar donation to PBS?  It is said she left enough to fund PBS and NPR for 25 years!)

So PBS doesn't need our money.  The additional lucre they've taken in during the last few years have allowed them to hire small armies of liberal journalists who promote the liberal agenda with gusto.  For example, I dare you to check a day of PBS programming, then tell me if that programming reflects American life in any fashion.  On any given day you'll see sob stories about the plight of illegal aliens, or the misery of Black neighborhoods who aren't given enough government money.  Or they will cherry-pick a model Muslim family, then report how miserable they are being force to live in a secular America.

NPR is worse.  Though they do cover the news in greater depth than a typical news channel, that news is almost always trumpeting the liberal agenda.

So, I agree.  No taxpayer money for PBS and NPR.  They have enough...and they do not represent me in most of their programming.

Now let's get to some real liberal "red meat".  Trump is cutting out federal money for Meals On Wheels...that program that brings meals to home bound seniors!  Terrible isn't it?  If Trump's not pushing old people off the cliff, he's at least starving them to death, right?

Wrong.  Let's look at the hard numbers on the Meals On Wheels Program.  The federal government currently contributes about 20% of the program...the rest funded by the individual states.  Although Trump's cuts is really bad, publicity wise, the effect on the program is minimal.

But I dug deeper in the MOW program.  I decided to check out the MOW program right here in Sun City, Arizona...the "queen pioneer" of America's half century of senior living.  When I ventured over to their page I found that it would cost me over $20 bucks a day if I wished to subscribe to their two meal a day meal delivery schedule!  

So my first question is "who the hell can afford that?" and "if MOW is getting both state and federal money, and solicit public donations, and the meals are delivered by volunteers, why the hell does it cost a senior $20 bucks a day for some fairly unimpressive meals?  

I can only surmise that the MOW program is chock full of highly paid administrators....that seems to be the only answer for an organization to charge gourmet restaurant prices for broccoli and a chicken leg or meatloaf and mashed.  

So is Trump mean for suggesting these "cruel cuts?"  Well, if you read the headlines if would seem that way.  However if you look at how America funds inefficiency, rewards bureaucracy, and pays to be told how bad they are on public television, maybe not so cruel as the headlines imply.

What is the cost?
  • Benevilla Meal – soup or salad, entree (protein, vegetable and starch), bread, dessert and a beverage for $9.00
  • Heart Healthy Meal – soup or salad, entree (protein, 2 vegetable servings), sugar-free dessert or fruit, and a beverage for $9.75
  • Hearty Meal – soup or salad, entree (2 protein servings, vegetable and starch), bread, dessert and a beverage for $11.25


Jerry Carlin said...

I absolutely Hate Restaurants where I have to choose Soup or Salad! The better restaurants will serve you both! I am not ready to swear a Trump Loyalty oath but I do not mind these cuts. It seems to be always the case, as the Government does More, we do Less. That is Never a Good Thing. I still like "don't ask what your Country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your Country."

A Modest Scribler said...

Good morning, Jerry. I believer you made my point. When you look at the efficiency of an organization that relies strictly on donations, and not government lucre, you always find they are more efficient than those who, in whole or in part, are getting transfusions from Uncle Sam. Jefferson never argued against helping the poor and indigent....he just said it has to come from the local community...out of the goodness of the heart and not by government mandate.

Jerry Carlin said...

I ordered the book I recommended to you so don't buy it. I still have your address if you haven't moved so when it arrives I will send it on to you. Yes, it is that good!

A Modest Scribler said...

Well how generous of you, Jerry! I'm looking forward to reading it! Having great confidence in the reading tastes of "the tomato man" I know it will be a great read.