After President Trump released his proposed 2018 budget with its intended cuts, there was an overwhelming wave of liberal frustration that flooded social media with speculation that Meals on Wheels was DOA and millions of senior citizens would starve to death without the government funding of the program.
In order to clear up the liberal panic-driven headlines, let’s look at the facts.
The 35% federal funding that goes directly to local Meals on Wheels programs comes from the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program that falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The impact on these funds has not yet been announced but, given the proposed 17.9% cut prescribed for HHS, could be at risk.
This means that Meals on Wheels only gets 35% of their budget from HHS, which is seeing one of the lighter cuts of just under 18%. No specific programs have been cut and it hasn’t been stated where the 17.9% in cuts would take place.
But the liberal media, using their standard scare tactics and nearly tripping over each other to be first, put the word out that Trump was killing the program, thereby denying the poor needy people of their only means of eating.
The White House was “literally taking food away from seniors,” said Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (D-Calif.), according to the Associated Press.
Headlines like this were everywhere –
Trump’s Budget Would Kill Funds for a Program That Feeds 2.4 Million Senior Citizens
– and while the anti-Trump media expected to make him the monster, Americans did what they always do when they feel in a pinch and that is send in donations to what they see as a worthy cause. His intended cuts prove what we have known for a long time – Americans are incredibly generous people. Quite possibly the most generous people in the world. So generous, in fact, we do not need the government welfare programs that the left says we do.
Private donations have surged in response, a spokeswoman for the group told The Washington Post. The national office has taken in more than $100,000 since the White House announced plans to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program on Thursday, compared with about $1,000 on a normal day.
The local branches that actually bring food to people have separate donation streams, and they’ve reported surges too, with money and volunteer sign-ups pouring in from Minneapolis to west Los Angeles.
This tells us there are plenty of Americans who are charitable enough to do what the government was never intended to, and that is alleviate poverty and help one another on the local level. Without being dependent on the federal government, we will see how great our neighbors and communities really are.
Another fact they conveniently left out in their rush to judgment is that not everyone who benefits from Meals on Wheels are poor and needy. There are people who cannot cook their own meals, for any number of reasons, from safety issues to eyesight and memory problems, however many of those people are able to pay for those hot meals delivered to their door on a daily basis.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the government “can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good” and he’s absolutely correct. It’s not their job. Americans will figure it out.