The new administration has been facing severe criticism over proposed cuts in spending in the areas of education, arts, and anti-poverty initiatives. Speaking on MSNBC on Thursday, Mick Mulvaney repeatedly expressed his beliefs that anti-poverty programs such as Meals On Wheels and the Community Development Block Grant had little or no positive impact on individuals and their communities.

"I can't go to the autoworker in Ohio and say please give me some of your money so that I can do this program over here someplace else that really isn't helping anybody."

Meals on Wheels -- of no use to anyone?

Each year, Meals on Wheels delivers 2.4 million meals to individuals in all of the states.

Research has indicated that individuals receiving meals feel less isolated, are less likely to suffer falls, and enjoy much better nutrition. The federal government contributed $4 million toward the cost of running Meals on Wheels through the Older Americans Act. This represented only 35% of the overall running costs.

Home meal deliveries have allowed thousands of elderly people to remain in their own homes rather than move to a nursing home. According to Dr. Kali Thomas, professor of health services at Brown University, an increase of 1 percent in the number of people receiving home deliveries in each state could actually save the taxpayer $109 million in Medicaid spending.

While it is yet unclear whether this source of funding will be cut, the White House has proposed to get rid of the Community Service and Community Development Block Grants.

Under this scheme, anti-poverty agencies like Meals on Wheels can bridge funding gaps. If, however, the first Trump budget is delivered and implemented fully, this source of funding will no longer be available.

Community Block Grant -- no results?

Speaking about the Community Block Grant program, Mr. Mulvaney stated:

"The C.B.G.D.s have been identified as programs since I believe the first, actually the second Bush administration as ones that were just not showing any results."

This scheme has been running for the last 42 years, and funds have largely been made available to low-income area grantees.

While some have suggested wasteful spending, communities across the state have seen the program deliver jobs, rehabilitate housing, and finance important projects like the Colorado Center for the Blind.

Dr. Rohe, professor of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina, said Mr.

Mulvaney's comments were "simply not accurate", and, "rather than doing away with this important program, it should be revised to require local governments to better target the funds geographically."

After-school programs -- no effect on performance?

Mr. Mulvany also maintained that after-school programs were of no benefit. Currently, 1.6 million children attend after-school care centers run by 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Some studies suggested little improvement in student performance, however, more recent research has indicated that students scored better in Math and English.

After-school programs like "Becoming a Man" in Chicago, have seen a cut in arrests for violent crimes by 50%, and a 19% improvement in student grades.

America First budget

In his first budget, now also known as the America First Budget, Donald Trump proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending and severe cuts in education, environmental protection, arts and culture, anti-poverty programs, foreign aid, and health and human services.

Mr. Mulvaney has described the cuts as "one of the most compassionate things we can do." Explaining his words, he outlined how the taxpayer would be spared from having to fund ineffective programs.

It is believed that no less than 62 different agencies and programs are at risk of elimination.

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