President Donald Trump revealed his budget proposal Thursday and ever since, and even before, leftists have sounded all the predictable alarms about how the sky is falling because the spigot is being shut off. In one especially egregious example, leftists are whining that “Meals on Wheels” is being attacked by the Trump administration — but not so fast.
Trump’s budget would reportedly cut $3 billion from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and leftists have expressed their outrage about the program with their typical emotional appeals not based in fact.
CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted: On chopping block: $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which funds programs like Meals on Wheels” along with a link to a New York Times article, of course.
On chopping block: $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which funds programs like Meals on Wheelshttps://t.co/oVNX4V0B2z
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 16, 2017
In a completely unsurprising development, the left omitted big chucks of fact here that serve to obliterate their “Republicans are mean” narrative.
As Reason’s Scott Shackford reported, this program is fraught with abuse as politicians shuffle money around to their buddies and high administrative costs eat into the little bit actual charity programs receive in the end. The government uses “Meals on Wheels” as a front essentially to get the public to back the program, but if you peek behind the curtain there’s cronyism and waste everywhere.
For example, take a look at this list compiled by Tad DeHaven that includes some of the places where the money has actually gone in this program:
- $588,000 for a marina in Alexandria, Lousiana
- $245,000 for the expansion of an art museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania
- $147,000 for a canopy walk at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Georgia
- $196,000 for expanding the Calvin Coolidge State historic site in Vermont
- $294,000 for a community recreational facility in New Haven, Connecticut
- $196,000 for the construction of an auditorium in Casper, Wyoming
- $441,000 to replace a county exposition center in Umatilla, Oregon
- $98,000 for the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring, Texas
- $245,000 for renovations to awnings at a historical market in Roanoke, Virginia
- $294,000 for the development of an educational program at the Houston Zoo in Texas
Interesting, the left chooses to point to “Meals on Wheels” in their attack on Trump’s budget, but not on these examples of waste.
Take a look at this example from Shackford:
As a small-town newspaper editor I witnessed this reality play out in the real world years ago in the California desert. In the rural community of Barstow, due to the administrative challenges of landing the grants, in the end, the local homeless shelter received somewhere around $2,000 from this program, a pittance that accomplished little. The rest ended up going to the city itself, who used the funds to repave the parking lots for local parks.
The establishment is, of course, not going to react well to Trump turning off the spigot, and we’re surely going to see more and more of these hysterical emotional appeals that serve to try and pull the wool over the eyes of the American people.
The more they trot out these sob stories, the more you know that Trump is doing something right.
Oh, and by the way, here’s what the Hill reported about where Meals on Wheels actually gets its funding:
Meals on Wheels reports that 3 percent of its funding comes from government grants, while 84 percent comes from corporate and foundation grants and individual contributions.
Meals on Wheels, which provides food to individuals who are unable to leave their homes, says it served more than 219 million meals to 2 million seniors in 2015.
Facts bust a good leftist/establishment narrative just about every time.