Thursday, May 25, 2017

Signs of the Times: Gianforte, Trump and Mulvaney

1.  Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in the Montana special election, joined the war against the media by allegedly assaulting Ben Jacobs,  a reporter for the UK Guardian.  Gianforte's spokesman gave a statement which ends with:

It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.

There ya go. What did Ben Jacobs do to make Gianforte so mad?  Sounds like the kind of stuff domestic abusers say (you made me do it).

2.  Our Dear Leader is working hard to be the PR person for the United States.  It's great comedy or would be, if I was watching it with nectar and manna at hand on some other planet. 

The man has no social intelligence.  I guess he has never needed it, what with having been born with a golden hoof in his mouth and having grown up the little king of his world, surrounded by yes-men and yes-women.

3.  Mick Mulvaney, Trump's director of the Office of Management and Budget removes his human mask and bluntly states his views:*

For years, we’ve focused on how we can help Americans receive taxpayer-funded assistance. Under President Trump’s leadership, we’re now looking at how we can respect both those who require assistance and the taxpayers who fund that support. For the first time in a long time, we’re putting taxpayers first. 

Taking money from someone without an intention to pay it back is not debt. It is theft. This budget makes it clear that we will reverse this larceny. The president’s budget will put our country’s budget back into balance.

Taxation is theft, eh?  I doubt Mulvaney thinks that giving even more money to the already-bloated US military is theft.  But subsidizing the health care costs of poor people certainly is.

Let's see what thieving Mulvaney's budget plans to stop:

President Donald Trump's budget plans to cut the Children's Health Insurance Program by at least 20% over the next two fiscal years and slash Medicaid, which covers millions more children.
Millions of poor and working families could lose their health coverage if his proposed budget, released Tuesday and called "A New Foundation for American Greatness," gets through as-is. It would hit children's health care hard and break Trump's campaign promise to "save" Medicaid "without cuts."
Over the next decade, the proposed budget would cut Medicaid more than $800 billion, or nearly a quarter of what the health care program is projected to spend on poor families.
Poor children are covered by a complicated mix of programs. Medicaid covers 37 million children. The Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, has 8.9 million enrolled. Together, these two programs cover about one in three American children, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Elsewhere Mulvaney states that he believes in the social safety net, but that he doesn't want it to be misused:

“If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work,” Mulvaney said during a briefing with reporters on Monday. “If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be, if you’re not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction.”
But the way to fix such misuse should be to supervise the basis on which help is given, not to cut the total amount of money going into, say, the CHIP program.  Children shouldn't have to go back to work or be punished for having bad parents. 

Their job is to go to school, and healthy children will do that job better and end up more productive and useful citizens, ultimately benefiting everyone in the society, even Mick Mulvaney.

* This proposal may never turn into reality, but it tells us what the Trump administration would like to happen.