Tag Archives: budget

Compassion, Trump-style

Hello, brothers and sisters. I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I’ve been a little busy. And, by “a little busy”, I mean “working my butt off to get some really mediocre grades this semester”.  But, recently, something so big happened that I just had to carve out some time and write about it. 

     What could possibly pull me out of my self-imposed exile and back into the blogosphere? President Trump’s budget proposal (I throw up in my mouth a little, every time I say that), that’s what. And, let me you, it is a doozy. It increases defense spending by 54% and slashes funding for almost every other part of the federal government, including all funding for arts and cultural agencies and the block grants that support Meals on Wheels and Head Start. Naturally, a few folks have their panties in a wad over this turn of events. 

     The real brouhaha started when, at a press conference yesterday, a reporter asked White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney if the budget wasn’t “hard-hearted”. Mulvaney replied, “No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s one of the most compassionate things we can do.” That’s right, beloved; a budget that cuts funding to programs that feed the elderly and underprivileged kids is “compassionate”. 

     Now, before we lose our collective mind over this, let’s look at Mulvaney’s reasoning. He told the press, who didn’t take his pronouncement very charitably, “You’re only focusing on half of the equation, you’re only focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus both on the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place. And I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not going to ask you for your hard-earned money any more.’ ‘Single mom of two in Detroit, OK, give us your money.’ We’re not going to do that anymore … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function, and I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.”  And, believe or not, I get where he’s coming from.

     This budget is remarkably compassionate. I mean, sure, Trump’s budget will impose an 82% tax hike on a single parent making $34,000 a year. But, imagine how it will relieve the burden on the long-suffering and over-taxed 1% in this country. Seriously, who deserves a break more than the ultra-wealthy?

     And, yes, this budget will eliminate programs that the single mom he mention probably relies on, like Head Start, PBS, and other silly, socialist fluff. But, come on, folks. Lord Dampnut has to get the money to build The Wall™ from somewhere. Especially, since Mexico can’t stop laughing at his claim that they’ll pay for it. 

     Besides he’s got to come up with that extra $54 billion he needs to beef up the world’s largest military. Yeah, I hear you, “We already spend more on the military than the next 8 countries combined.” Maybe. But, don’t we need to be ready in case shit pops off with the Russians? Okay, not the Russians; Uncle Vlad wouldn’t be happy about that. But, it is necessary. If only because he needs to make sure the military is equipped to protect him when the mob of screwed-over supporters arrives in D.C. with the pitchforks and torches.

     Look, I know a lot of you are still pretty pissed about this budget. I get that. But, maybe you should take Mulvaney’s advice and look at both sides of the equation. There’s the “decent human being who wants to take care the least of these” side…, and, then there’s Trump’s. I’m sure you’ll see the light eventually. 

Monkeys Might Fly Out of My Butt

So, Congress finally quit fucking around playing politics and raised the debt ceiling.  That’s a good thing, because the country didn’t have to default on its obligations and the bills will continue to be paid.  But, the bill that Congress passed yesterday sucks about as hard as a piece of legislation can.  In this turd, we get trillions in spending cuts and no revenue increases.  But, the Democrats got something in this, too: the cuts are to be “balanced” between defense and non-defense spending.  Whoop-de-fucking-doo.  We all know what this means; while the “job creators” (Faux News’ name for anyone making over $250k) continue to milk the system, the rest of us will have to pony up, either through the elimination of tax breaks (temporary 2% payroll tax cut set to expire next year) or reduced funding for entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.  But, that’s okay because those “job creators” will have more money to put us all back to work, right?  Sure, they will. 

Why don’t I believe that a lower tax burden on the wealthy will trickle down to the rest of us like the great and powerful Reagan said?  Because these tax cuts have been in place for years and jobs are scarcer now that they’ve been since the Depression.  It may have worked back in the 80’s, but it ain’t doing shit today.  You want to know what’s really happening?  Minorities are getting fucked, that’s what.  A report from the Pew Research Group shows that inflation-adjusted wealth dropped 66% among Hispanics and 53% among African-Americans while wealth among white households fell just 16%.  This is largest recorded gap in wealth between white and minority households since the census started recording this data.  The Pew analysis laid most of blame on the housing crisis of 2008.  Hispanics experienced such a sharp decline because so many of them live in the Arizona, California, Nevada and Florida, states that were hardest hit by the housing crash.  Researchers at NYU also found that Hispanics and blacks were more likely to be sold those lovely high-cost, sub-prime loans no matter what their credit histories and these loans have had the highest rates of foreclosure.  Let me get this straight, these people were sold these piece-of-shit loans even when they qualified for better ones?  Hmm, kinda shoots a hole in the Republican notion that lenders were forced to make loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, doesn’t it?

With all the budget and debt talk flying around, Sojouners has been shouting that the budget is a moral document, that it is incumbent on those of us with more to help those with less.  It’s in the Bible, too.  One of the main tenets of Mosaic law is that those who have help those who have not.  And, when you strip away all the religious crap that’s been added over the years, that’s what Jesus’ message was all about.  Even those evil Muslims believe that they are their brother’s keeper.  About the only group that doesn’t believe this are American conservatives who (in my opinion) are Christian in loosest sense of the of the word.  And, they’ve shown this by sucking up to the wealthy and with their reckless disregard for the poor.  Will this change?  Maybe…, and, to quote that great 20th century philosopher Wayne Campbell, “monkeys might fly out of my butt”.