Here’s the truth about Meals on Wheels in Trump’s budget

Misleading stories such as this one at CBS News show that the “Trump is a mean man” propaganda machine is in full swing.

An earlier post on saboteur365 about Meals on Wheels sourced Snopes, which debunked the extreme assertion that President Trump was killing the feeding program aimed at seniors.

In this post, it’s liberal USA Today that decided to avoid fake news and reveal the truth. I’ve bolded a few key points.

USA Today

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s first budget proposal to Congress last week specifically identified steep cuts to hundreds of domestic programs, but Meals on Wheels wasn’t one of them.

The popular program — which mainly uses volunteer drivers to provide hot meals to older Americans across the country — doesn’t directly receive federal funding. As Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters Thursday, “Meals on Wheels is not a federal program.”

Nevertheless, Meals on Wheels quickly became the poster child for the impact of Trump’s budget cuts. Even before the budget’s release, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., tweeted that Trump had called for the “elimination” of Meals on Wheels, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus quickly dubbed it the “Starvation Budget.”

The truth: Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of one program that some of the nation’s 5,000 Meals on Wheels groups rely on: Community development block grants, a $3 billion program that started in the Ford administration to give states and cities more flexibility in how they combat poverty.

Let’s stir the pot and ask if the program needs new vehicles like the one below, with it’s custom paint job. Let’s also ask what kind of salaries the administrators of the program receive.

But Trump’s proposal — known as the “skinny budget” because it’s the first, vague outline of a more formal submission to come — is largely silent about the program that provides the vast majority of federal funding for senior services.

“The budget will adversely impact older adults,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “We just don’t know how much.”

Here’s why. The majority of Meals on Wheels programs get most of their federal funding through the Administration for Community Living, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services that serves the elderly and disabled. That agency has a $227 million line-item for “home-delivered nutrition services.”

Those programs are authorized though the Older Americans Act, a law so popular that its renewal passed Congress last year without any recorded opposition. And while Trump didn’t single out that specific program, Health and Human Services will receive a 16% across-the-board cut.

“We’re very concerned. We’re concerned about the cuts that were explicit in the skinny budget, but we’re also concerned about what we see as the handwriting on the wall with the percentage cuts to HHS,” Markwood said. “Some of these details we won’t know for a while.”

Meals on Wheels America, a national group that represents 5,000 programs throughout the country, said it was bombarded with questions about the budget and could not respond to press inquiries.

The impact is likely to vary from place to place. Every Meals on Wheels affiliate gets money from a different mix of state, local and federal government funds, along with individual donations and philanthropic organizations.

“We like to say that when you’ve seen one Meals on Wheels program, you’ve seen one Meals on Wheels program,” said Sandra Noe, the executive director of Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana. Like many programs, it gets funding from an area agency on aging through the Older Americans Act.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers the community development block grant program that Trump targeted for elimination, couldn’t say how much of that money ultimately flows to Meals on Wheels. It’s certainly a small fraction: Social services are capped by law at 15% of the block grants, and the most recent HUD figures show all senior services receive about $33 million.

“We’ve spent $150 billion on those programs since the 1970s,” Mulvaney said, referring to the block grants. And since the federal government started to apply more performance measurements to federal programs in the Bush administration those block grants have been “just not showing any results,” he said.

“We can’t do that anymore. We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good. And great, Meals on Wheels sounds great. Again, that’s a state decision to fund that particular portion — to take the federal money and give it to the states, and say look, we want to give you money for programs that don’t work.”

But scientific studies have found Meals on Wheels programs are effective in improving nutrition among the elderly. And they’re cost effective, because keeping older adults in their homes is less expensive than nursing-home care.

“It’s not just a meal, but a wellness check,” Noe said. “That volunteer, that driver is able to tune into whether that person’s health is failing, or if they’ve fallen or can’t get out of their chair. And we’re delivering relief from isolation, and we’re delivering relief to their family as well.”

The comments at the CBS link above are telling, with a split between those who hint that mean man Trump loves the idea of starving granny and the rational conservatives who note that private donations can easily replace any federal funding cuts, which are not certain anyway.

It’s frustrating to see how the liberal mind works on the fuel of emotion, not rationality.

10 thoughts on “Here’s the truth about Meals on Wheels in Trump’s budget

  1. Pingback: Here’s the truth about Meals on Wheels in Trump’s budget | Afro Futurism

  2. I and my family help to take care of my elderly mother. She is the only elderly person for whom we are responsible. I do not want my tax dollars extorted from me to feed strangers (the elderly or anyone else). Churches and private charities need return to performing those charitable acts. Get the gov’t out of the charity/wealth redistribution business.

    • Correct. Why do we need to send our money two thousand miles to have a small portion of it sent back to help people we want to assist, and mostly to help those we DON’T want to assist?

  3. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/18/meal-on-wheels-trump-budget-proposal-cuts/99308928/

    As for your snarky comment about their “new” car in the photo, these volunteers drives hundreds of miles a month delivering food and other services to the house bound elderly and disabled. Would you rather they kept driving broken down old Hondas that can’t be depended on?? When your car is no longer reliable, don’t YOU get a new or well maintained used one?? Do you know anything about the car in the photo? Instead of snarking, why don’t you track down the cars Meals On Wheels actually uses THEN comment.

    And you should know better then to rely on only one source for your articles, the one that agrees with you, that is.

  4. Those people complaining should donate directly to Meals on Wheels.

    Policies that force people to pay for everyone’s services annoy me. What about those whose children took care of their parents now dead? Why should they pay anything?

    Another one annoying me are couples who couldn’t have children forced to pay school taxes. They paid most of their lives, now senior citizens, they can’t afford hundreds of dollars a year. They should be exempt.

    If the government would stop paying for refugees to come here, welfare for illegals, legal immigrants and refugees, there’d be money for Meals on Wheels and decent increases for Social Security recipients who by the way paid in every year all their working lives. Of course, since the government stole all the money from it, there’s none for COLA’s or such a small percentage, it’s laughable!

    Frequently, seniors tell me there’s always money for foreigners whether refugee, illegal or legal.

    Quite a few tell me they had to wait until they were 66 1/2 years old to be eligible for SS. That was 6 years ago. Of those 6 years, they received no increase 3 of those years, this year only 0.7%, the reason, gas prices. One man said that 0.7% was $9.00 a month for him but his Medicare went up $9.00 a month. See how corrupt the government is? Seniors are furious since most don’t drive that much.

    Last year, between utilities, car insurance, and their supplemental health insurance, all total went up $800 a year for this couple. That doesn’t include increasing food prices. They thought they had enough savings, but now are worried low interest rates, taxes and price increases will eat away all of their savings. Most of them have savings into safe CD’s, the interest they depended on to supplement their SS. But, with almost nothing interest rates, they have had to put CD’s into checking accounts to live on the past 8 years. All of them worried they will have to move out of their homes, even those who already downsized. These complaints are common among senior citizens.

    Where were liberals when retirees weren’t receiving COLA’s? I heard nothing!

    Yeah, let’s put billions more into the inner cities, AGAIN, for the blacks and Hispanics to destroy AGAIN! But, there’s no money for COLA’s.

    I am certain if most seniors were non-White, there’d be hefty increases EVERY year!

    • All true. The COLA under Obama was disgraceful. The local food bank serves mostly illegal Mexicans who live here in large numbers. That too is disgraceful.

      If they have to move out of their homes because they can’t afford the property taxes, I’m not sure where they will go. My rent on a one bedroom apt is $900 a month, more than half my SS check. I hopefully have enough saved to keep on keeping on. When I move to a certain other state from Texas, my property tax will be less than $1000 a year. In Texas, it was over $5000 when I had my house.

      • My rent in rent controlled Hollywood is $843 and it’s a struggle. At our local food bank, which I go to about once a month to supplement my groceries has mostly nasty old Russian broads who actually stick their hands in your cart to take your stuff. Once in a while I see a spic man but it’s mostly Russians. I wonder how many are illegal. Few of them have bothered to learn English.

      • I support him, too. I think people behave better in their native countries in general then when they move somewhere else.

  5. Trump says the USA spent/wasted $6 trillion in these Arab wars this century. That could have built a lot of US infrastructure and could have fed all US pensioners easily, probably at 5 star restaurants.

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