Meals on Wheels. How far do you have to get down the scale of ideological depravity before your pen lands on Meals on Wheels as the thing you need to get rid of to buy those last two more Tomahawk cruise missiles that will finally make America a super-duper-dominant world power again.
That's only one part of the Trump budget that directly targets the poorest Americans, of course. It also cuts home heating assistance, so those same seniors will have a chance to freeze to death before starving. It takes an axe to EPA efforts to clean up pollution, which will have a disproportionate effect on the air and water of those neighborhoods surrounding those worst polluters. While that will likely result in an uptick in everything from childhood asthma to cancer, the Trump budget also slashes medical research funding in an apparent effort to ensure nobody does too much about it. And anyone so bold as to rise out of the new Trump-enforced poverty will get preemptively kneecapped by Trump's nixing of job training efforts.
It is a budget that targets, with precision, poor, sick and elderly Americans and cuts help to them in ways seemingly designed to kill them more rapidly than the current budget allows. It comes precariously close to a eugenics-premised approach. And all of it is lumped onto a repeal of healthcare reform that will even by itself result in the deaths of nearly 17,000 Americans during the next midterm election year alone.
All added up, it's not even close. The Republican budget plans will kill more Americans per year than have been killed by Radical Islamic Terrorism from 9/11 onward. The plans are likely to kill more Americans per quarter than have died from al Qaeda or ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in the last 20 years, in fact.
Are we vetting for this? Are there restrictions on where Paul Ryan can travel? We are refusing to allow refugees fleeing ISIS violence to come to our shores, despite no evidence of any substantive threat from those refugees whatsoever, but House Republicans remain free to come and go as they please.
It's a bit odd, is all I'm saying. The Trump and Ryan proposals will by themselves kill off thousands of Americans, because that's what stripping health insurance, environmental protections, medical research, heating, anti-poverty programs and food itself from poor Americans does—we can quarrel about how many thousands, but not whether there will be deaths—and there are no pundits on our television screens warning us of the dangers posed by radical Republican extremism.
But there should be, because the odds an American will be killed by Paul Ryan or Donald Trump next year are considerably higher than the odds they will be killed by either Muslims or refugees, the two groups we're being told pose the most existential threat to us. And that's a hell of a thing.
And yes, respectable centrist pundits are about to lose their minds that someone, somewhere is making a comparison like this. It is horrifically rude. It is outrageous. It is “mean,” which goes against everything respectable centrist pundits stand for while they, themselves, ponder on whether maybe programs and budgets keeping those poor and sick Americans alive should die, since they’re costing us money and holding the rest of us back.
But they’re not going to deny that it’s true.