Recent Posts

Trump budget

Trump looks to screw veterans

by Dan Burns on June 8, 2017 · 2 comments

veteransMuch has been made of the fact that the Trump budget proposes an overall increase in Veterans Administration funding. What’s not emphasized enough is that much of that added money is for starting to turn VA health care over to the greedheads via privatization. Here’s a reality check, from a source that can hardly be termed “left-wing.”

The plan to cut financial support for aging and disabled veterans included in President Donald Trump’s $1.1 trillion federal budget proposal has led to bitterness and confusion among the estimated 225,000 vets who could lose the payments.
The reductions may also trigger a political backlash against the president, who made reforming and increasing support for the Department of Veterans Affairs a major part of his campaign against Hillary Clinton…
The comments came from a flurry of emails from veterans and spouses to in response to a story last week about the proposal in the White House budget plan to cut the Individual Unemployability (IU) benefit in part to pay for an expansion of the Choice program, which allows veterans to seek health care in the private sector.
Veterans service organizations have also been flooded with calls and emails voicing concerns about the budget proposals and potential cuts to IU benefits.

Comments below fold.


Shovel-WeathervaneI’m well aware that not all rural voters went for Trump, any more than all urbanites didn’t. Nor are all city dwellers all politically knowledgeable and sophisticated, while all country folks aren’t. I shouldn’t have to note that, but such assumptions seem implicit in too much online discussion of rural issues in politics, including on the progressive left. Anyway:

The people in rural areas who voted for President Trump in droves have much at stake in his proposed budget.
Trump’s budget plan cuts a wide range of federal funding sources, including a water and sewer program that provided more than $200 million to greater Minnesota communities over the last five years.

There’s another, more in-depth article, also on MPR, from about a month ago, looking at some of what’s behind Wisconsin having gone for Trump. It’s well worth a click and read (frustrating though parts of it are), if you’re into this stuff.

Across town, Robbo Coleman leaned over the bar he tends and described a similar political about-face. He held up an ink pen, wrapped in plastic stamped “Made in China.”
“I don’t see why we can’t make pens in Prairie du Chien or in Louisville, Kentucky, or in Alabama or wherever,” said Coleman. “Trump brought something to the table that I haven’t heard or seen before. And if it doesn’t turn out, then, hey, at least we tried.”

Uh, yeah.
A far more substantive factor in what’s been going on in rural Wisconsin is the state having turned over its governance to worthless, corrupt Tea Party extremists in 2010, and not having corrected that since. The last time a lot of people were looking at Wisconsin was 2015, because of Gov. Scott Walker’s much-hyped but short-lived presidential run. But a search for 2016 shows that it still sucks, by the standards of the Upper Midwest, especially when it comes to the sorts of small business start-ups that would be key to any real rural economic renewal.
Voters in rural Wisconsin put right-wingers in charge in 2010, and that’s the biggest reason they’re “left behind.” In Minnesota, promising policy trends from 2013-14 largely ended when Minnesota outstate voters (and urban/suburban non-voters) gave the GOP control of the MN House and, now, the Senate. And in the worst kind of irony, who did country dwellers in both states vote for, for U.S. President in 2016, looking for change for the better? It truly sucks, but there it is.

{ 1 comment }

trump14Something directly stating or at least very strongly implying that the Trump budget proposal, if passed, would end the Meals on Wheels program for seniors was a common sight on the Internet, yesterday. Per Snopes and others, that’s not accurate. Only a small amount of the program’s funding, it varies from place to place but apparently always less than 5%, comes from the Community Development Block Grant program that the Trump budget would eliminate. With need rising, this is certainly not the time to be considering any cuts from any source; quite the contrary. But most of the extraordinarily righteous work that Meals on Wheels does is not at immediate risk.

This brings us to the wide and fuzzy line between political hyperbole and outright falsehood. I suppose that headlines like “Trump would end funding for Meals on Wheels” or “Trump wants to starve seniors,” are on that line, at best. (Those aren’t real-world examples, just generalizations of what I’ve seen. They‘re not outright false. Federal funding for Meals on Wheels from CDBG would end, and the sociopathic Trump doesn‘t care if people are malnourished, except insofar as it might hurt him politically.) But the Trump proposal is, on the whole, indeed a savage assault, especially on the vulnerable.

Given the critical need to stop Pr*sident Trump and his vile minions, this is not the time to get hung up on prim niceties when making important points. I generally try to be a little more careful in my own blogging. But that doesn’t mean that that’s always the way to go. I don’t see a need to leave useful attention-drawing tactics aside, given what’s at stake. The other side certainly doesn’t. Quite the contrary.
Here’s a pretty detailed, yet relatively concise, article from the Washington Post that lays out what’s really in the thing.
Comments below fold.