Trump wants to cut program that sends meals to the elderly and disabled

The Trump administration’s grand scheme is as cynical as what we feared but couldn’t fathom: Nominate a bunch of unqualified pushovers to cabinet positions, close ranks, and strip federal agencies and government-subsidized programs of their potency and purpose. And with the unveiling of Trump’s “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” outline for discretionary spending this coming fiscal year (beginning October 1), there’s ample cause for alarm, particularly if you care for the poor, elderly and disenfranchised.

As those populations rest on pins and needles to find out whether their access to well-rounded healthcare will be compromised in the name of backdoor defunding of legal abortions, they must now contend with the possibility that programs like Meals on Wheels will be severely strained. While “America First” recommends tens of billions of dollars in military spending and preparations for Trump’s notorious border wall with Mexico — the one he falsely pledged would be paid for by our friends south of the border — it calls for parallel cuts to initiatives like the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Program, which boosts Meals on Wheels and myriad housing- and community-restoration efforts.

One can assume HUD Secretary Ben Carson won’t stand in his way, no more than Education Secretary and public-school naif Betsy DeVos will serve as a roadblock to the budget’s aspirations to emphasize school choice or Environmental Protection Agency head/longtime foe Scott Pruitt will protest extraordinary reductions in EPA departments.

Meals on Wheels, which helps feed hundreds of thousands of homebound elderly citizens nationwide, wouldn’t be entirely decimated were the block grants slashes, nor can one draw a straight line to assert that Trump is literally taking nourishment out of underserved Americans’ mouths so he can curb an imaginary epidemic of illegal immigration from Mexico. But anyone, across party lines, can contact their local representatives and insist that putting our country first means keeping everyone fed, sheltered and safe from further pollution of their atmosphere before fortifying borders to keep the bogeyman out.

[New York Times | Reuters | photo: SeniorServicesInc.org]