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OPINION: Trump's budget proposal will make the wealthiest of the country happy, deplorables and others sad by redefining compassion

Trump's budget director has presented a proposal that lacks the compassion to take care of the needs of the poor and suffering among us. Without policies and funds in place to ensure the needs of those who are struggling are met, they can not succeed.

By Mona Austin

The budget proposal is out and the priorities in Trump's Fiscal year 2018 Budget do not address many of the day-to-day concerns the poorest Americans raised during campaign season.  Several democrats are calling the proposal dead on arrival.  By several measurements Trump supporters invested their votes in a vision made of sand. 

The bulk of funds are going toward fulfilling campaign promises said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney at the White House on Tuesday. 

Monies will come from programs and federal departments that are being phased out within the next year, saving $26.7 billion.  Get ready to say good-bye to the Department of Commerce, Education Department and the National Park Service. Theses departments were perceived as bloating the government, therefore a hindrance to the efficient management of the government.  Tax hikes will also be responsible for funding Trump's plan to make America great again.

This budget highlights lop-sided leadership, keeping the president's staunchest (i.e., wealthiest) supporters happy while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.  Where is the explicit support for the rest of America or other Trump constituents who have more pressing concerns specifically related to daily life?

A quote from Mulvaney on the so called Tax Payer First Budget summarizes how the GOP is redefining (clears throat, brainwashing) the path to a prosperous economy:

"People don't mind paying their taxes as long as they know that money is not being  wasted...We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs.  but by the number of people we help get off those programs.  We are not kicking anybody off any program who really needs  it.  We have plenty of money to take care of people in this country who need help.  We don't have enough money to take care of people who doesn't [sic] need help."

I understand the underlying sentiment of this definition of compassion is  to teach a man to fish vs. giving him a fish so that he may survive on his own.  That is a Republicans mantra. I also understand that there are many Americans who are still recovering from a sluggish economy.  Some of them are unemployed, uneducated, low income, Veterans, elderly or disabled.  Some are  college degreed and living from pay check to pay check with no end in sight as they work jobs unrelated to their fields for which they are over qualified simply to make ends meet.  Many Americans have just enough to survive, but have no savings accounts or financial means in place to secure and sustain their future.  A broad range of people need help, compassion.

It would appear that the proposals consider immediate needs with Mulvaney pointing out  National Security, Border Security, Law Enforcement, Veterans Affairs, and School Choice as top priorities.  In addition voters made their desire for a better economy, job creation and having a living wage for all loud and clear. Healthcare reform was also a priority for Republican voters, yet  it is no coincidence that Mulvaney did not mention it.  The GOP's version of compassion will strip an estimated 23 million people of health benefits.

Traditionally there are government agencies in place that run programs to support those in need.  This is how the government would tend to extend compassion.  Unfortunately, under the proposed budget many such programs have been drastically cut.  For example, free lunch at schools during summer is out.  Mulvaney said in a press briefing at the White House earlier this May that nutrition and after school programs were being cut because the government can no longer fund programs with no demonstrable results.  He said there was no proof that kids did better in school as a result of the programs.    How is this conclusion logical?  It isn't.    It is common knowledge that no one can reach peak performance in anything without energy which comes from food and nutrition.

When the working poor and rural America realize they voted against their own best interests I am afraid there is going to be a meltdown in this country -- a literal mental health crisis in the United States brought on by governmental neglect of immediate needs. 

Yes, dear internet reader it is that serious.

And since the GOP is wrong on its definition of compassion, here is a better values-based one from the Bible dictionary:

Compassion [N]That (human) disposition that fuels Acts of kindness and mercy. Compassion, a form of love, is aroused within us when we are confronted with those who suffer or are vulnerable. Compassion often produces action to alleviate the suffering.

The budget director said they developed the proposal with the needs of the people in mind.  It would be helpful if they could produce quantitative data as proof of people's expectations.  I would suggest conducting a poll.  If Republicans living in rural areas where they still depend on farming were polled and asked what is more important, building the border wall or having food on the table, I am certain they would choose the latter. 

I believe American need leaders who see them exactly where they are and will work hard to help them make progress.  In order to improve life in our country don't change the definition of compassion.  Exercise it as we have always known it.  By putting people  -- not politics -- first. 

At press time the Washington Post reports President Trump's approval rating is at an all time low.

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