The Trump Administration’s Four Most Heartless Statements About the Budget

Cutting Meals on Wheels “is one of the most compassionate things we can do.”

Andrew Harnik/AP

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Today, the Trump administration released its preliminary 2018 budget proposal, which would eliminate 19 federal agencies and gut a wide array of programs aimed at helping the working poor and the unemployed. At the same time, Trump’s budget calls for a major increase in defense spending and spending billions on the construction of a border wall.

At a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney did little to alleviate the impression that the most vulnerable would suffer under these budget cuts. “You described this as a ‘hard power budget.’ Is it also a hard-hearted budget?” asked CNN’s Jim Acosta. “No, I don’t think so,” Mulvaney responded. “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.”

Yet compassion was in short supply as Mulvaney tried to explain the administration’s budget priorities. Here are four of his most heartless statements:

Meals on Wheels doesn’t work. A reporter asked Mulvaney about proposed cuts to the Community Development Block Grant Program, which would lead to cuts on Meals on Wheels in some states. He responded that the program, which feeds elderly people, and ones like it are “just not showing results” and “don’t work.”

Afterschool programs for hungry kids don’t work. Mulvaney said that afterschool programs that feed low-income kids don’t help them do better in school. “There is no demonstrable evidence they are actually doing that,” he claimed.

Fighting climate change is a rip-off. “We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mulvaney said. “We consider that to be a waste of your money.”

Starvation and famine? Yawn. Another reporter asked Mulvaney about the administration’s plans to reduce spending on the United Nations and foreign aid, despite famine and starvation facing 20 million people—a “humanitarian crisis,” according to the UN. “Are you worried that some of the most vulnerable people on earth will suffer?” the reporter asked. “We’re absolutely reducing funding to the UN and to the various foreign aid programs,” Mulvaney said. “That should come as a surprise to no one who watched the campaign.”

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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