Bye-bye Meals on Wheels, here’s a picture of Melania Trump eating diamonds for dinner

One of the most talked about cuts in President Trump’s cruel and inhumane budget proposal announced Thursday is the eradication of block grants many states use to fund Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to 2.4 million senior citizens and 500,000 veterans.

The White House argued it was the “compassionate” thing to do for taxpayers because the program isn’t “showing results,” even though studies have shown programs like Meals on Wheels keep Medicaid costs down, decrease hospital visits, and keep seniors out of long-term care facilities, which is something considering one study published in the National Institute of Health found “the average cost of a one-month nursing home stay is equivalent to providing home-delivered meals five days a week for approximately seven years.”

It’s unclear exactly how much Trump’s budget will cut from Meals on Wheels, as each city that receives money from the Community Development Block Grants that fund it allocate the dollars differently. A CNN report showed the city of San Jose, California, for example, used $100,650 of the $2.5 million it received last year on Meals on Wheels. In comparison, it costs taxpayers $3 million for every weekend President Trump stays at his Mar-A-Lago Florida mansion. This coming weekend will be his fifth since the inauguration. Furthermore, according to Snopes, if Melania and Barron Trump decide to stay in New York City for the duration of the presidency, it will cost taxpayers between $46 million and $53 million annually. I’m willing to wager $53 million would cover a lot of Meals on Wheels’ budget.

At any rate, we get much more out of the program than we put in. Community Development Block Grants cost a total of $3 billion in 2017. Meals on Wheels estimates it saves the country $34 billion every year in healthcare costs. But in reality, we shouldn’t need any economic argument to realize the necessity of programs like Meals on Wheels. Keeping our country’s seniors, veterans, disabled, and impoverished fed is simply a moral and ethical imperative. The first lady would do well to remember that the next time she sits down to enjoy a nice bowl of diamonds.

[photo: Getty]