One of the more controversial budget cuts tucked into the Trump #Funding proposal, which also trims research and limits NASA spending, is one that eliminates $3 billion a year to #Meals On Wheels, a program that prepares meals for seniors who either cannot afford them or are unable to prepare their own food. The proposal has arrived with the usual accusation that the president wants to starve old people. However, as Forbes points out, Meals and Wheels is a private charity that only takes 3.3 percent of its funding from government. Most of the program comes from corporate, foundation, and individual contributions.
In short, while the program would have to make up the funding shortfall from private sources if the budget proposal goes into effect, Meals on Wheels would not go away if it no longer enjoyed federal largess.
Sound arguments exist for keeping the government funding for the program. Meals on Wheels, being a private charity, is not as bound by bureaucratic rules as would a strict government welfare program. Other arguments exist for taking the program entire private. The deficit is real and closing it will mean having to make priorities. If a service like feeding old people can be done entirely privately, then it should be.
Eric Erickson notes that the political left is suggesting that if you favor the budget cut for Meals on Wheels, then you are going to #Hell. This sentiment is expressed despite the fact that conservatives are more generous givers to charity than are liberals.
However, hysteria has proven to be far too useful a tool for political combat to be left aside easily. If you favor some public policy prescription or another you cannot just be wrong or mistaken, you have to be evil and possessed of the desire to wreck death and misery on the more vulnerable. Both sides play this game to some extent, but the left does so with exceeding zest and disturbing effectiveness.
If one were a betting person, then a safe wager is that a lot of things that Trump proposes to cut in his budget proposal are going to wind up surviving. Government programs tend to be impervious to being done away with. Unfortunately so are the deficits that accompany them.