Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trump's Budget

I watched this week as the Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney,  stated that Trump’s proposed budget was an attempt to be compassionate towards those who are paying taxes.  His view apparently is that much tax money is spent unwisely in “entitlement” programs designed to assist people in need.  That view somehow insinuates that those with a high income that allows them to live comfortable lives are being inconvenienced by paying the taxes the system has stated they should pay.  So people who are able to eat regularly every day, pay bills on times, live in $200,000 plus homes, take several vacations each year, stay in time shares or rental homes, pay medical bills without being financially burdened are somehow deserving of compassion??

The White House budget director’s comments seemed to say “don’t feel sorry for the poor, the homeless, those who don’t have opportunities to make their lives better”.  No, feel sorry for the wealthy and the well off who are burdened to have to pay taxes to assist those who are not well off.  This seems a very selfish attitude.  A “me first” attitude.  I got mine, you get yours somehow without my help!

Let’s be fair.  There are many well off people who donate to causes, charities, or even volunteer to help those who for whatever reason are disadvantaged.  But the comments of the budget director appear to be an elitist view of what taxes are meant for.  Apparently taxes are not meant to go to any form of assistance to those who through no fault of their own are not well off.  The view is that the government doesn’t exist to open doors or provide opportunities.

If the government doesn’t exist to open doors than how do people aspire to improve themselves?  Well, let’s look at the history of these United States of America.  European Americans came to this country, inhabited then by Native Americans and took/stole what they wanted.  European Americans took property and made it theirs.  There was no fair compensation to Native Americans.  Any treaties made were one sided towards European Americans or agreements that took advantage of Native Americans.  European Americans understand that open immigration today that allows competitors to enter these United States of America is a danger to the interests of European Americans.  More competition for resources is something they do not advocate.  The demise of Native Americans is a lesson not forgotten by those in control.  Sharing the wealth is not a European American strength.  That is one reason why after the Civil War, Reconstruction policies designed to allow newly freed black people to gain economic wealth were crushed.  Selfish, me first attitudes governed and the government of these United States of America supported the demise of Reconstruction policies.  Forget uplifting people who had been enslaved for hundreds of years in this country.

 “..there’s a certain philosophy wrapped up in the budget, and that is that we are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs.  We're going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs and get back in charge of their own lives.  We're not going to measure our success by how much money we spend, but by how many people we actually help.”  This statement by the budget director shows that getting people off of programs is the goal.  It does not say how to get those people back in charge of their own lives." commented the budget director. 

It’s fine to pause and reassess the value of entitlement programs and if they are truly working.  But, to claim that “compassion” for taxpayers is the reason and giving people control of their lives?  There’s something wrong with that logic.

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