- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrats, party of the breathless, have apparently sent out the mad dogs to rip up President Donald Trump’s budget plan. And boy, have they ever ripped.

It must be fun to be a Dem and say whatever one thinks, absent filters, minus facts — to just throw it on out there for the public to process, to deal with, to try and decipher truth from spin.

Take a look at this, from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, reacting to Trump’s budget: “Children will die because of this.”

Really, Mr. Mayor? Really?

But to be fair, let’s put that remark in context. Here’s his whole statement, made during a press conference in the Bronx, in the aftermath of Trump’s presentation of his budget.

“Five hundred thousand kids in [Trump’s NYC] hometown will have less food to eat because of this proposal,” de Blasio said, Fox News reported. “It is not an overstatement to say that some children will die because of this.”

Well, yeah, actually, it is kind of an overstatement to say that. Just like it would be an overstatement to sling this right-back-at-ya comment de Blasio’s way: Well, if you know children are about to die, and you do nothing to help them yourself, doesn’t that make you complicit in their deaths?

Wouldn’t that mean you, Mayor de Blasio, are guilty of letting these poor children die?

How about a new headline, reflecting the claim that Trump’s budget is a child-killer, recognizing de Blasio’s statement as more factual than fiery — one that perhaps reads: “NYC’s De Blasio Fails to Save Children Starved by Trump Budget.”

Two can play that game. If de Blasio’s claims of Trump’s kid-killing budget isn’t over-the-top, well then, neither is a claim faulting the prophetic de Blasio for failing to reach into his own pockets to provide for the ailing kids.

But of course, the left is just trying to tear down the idea that Trump’s budget brings — and that’s this: People can indeed be self-sufficient. De Blasio would never reach in his own pocket to provide for these poor children he supposedly care so deeply for because that’s not the way of the left. In his mind, feeding the poor children is a government function, not individual responsibility.

Well, bully for de Blasio’s emotionally charged rhetoric. But here’s the truth: Americans can indeed provide for their own families and selves, absent government subsidies.

The left hates that thought. It messes with their control.

Hillary Clinton weighed in with similarly fiery rhetoric, calling Trump’s budget “an unimaginable level of cruelty” against the poor and needy.

In a speech before the Children’s Health Fund in New York City, Clinton went on, the New York Daily news reported: “This administration and Republicans in Congress are mounting an onslaught against the needs of children and people with disabilities, women and seniors. [Trump’s budget represents a] lack of imagination and disdain for the struggles of millions of Americans, including millions of children. … None of us can remain silent in the face of these attacks. … It hurts the well-being of children.”

Clinton, de Blasio and the rest of their ilk are talking about Trump’s proposed cuts to social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance, three areas of government spending — read, taxpayer spending — that have grown to bloated proportions in recent years.

Medicaid spending soared under Barack Obama, for example, more than three times its 2000 numbers, to $389 billion this year. Trump’s budget team says they simply want to reel in the spending with oversight and requirements for efficiency. What’s wrong with that? Even Democrats ought to agree that wasteful spending of Medicaid dollars is not a good thing.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, spending has also rocketed in recent times — again, under Obama’s administration, to the point of earning Barack the monicker as “food stamp president.” In 2000, spending on food stamps stood around $18 billion. Now, post-Obama years? It’s at $71 billion.

Trump’s plan calls for a total of $198 billion worth of SNAP savings spread over a 10-year period, again by focusing on identifying waste and imposing tighter work requirements, and by requiring states to step up to the food stamp plate and match the federal contributions — a happy nod to the Tenth Amendment.

And on Social Security Disability Insurance? Here’s yet another taxpayer-funded program that soared under Obama, from its 2000 level of $56 billion to its present level of $144 billion. SSDI screams for oversight and reform and under Trump’s plan, which trims $72 billion over 10 years, it will very likely see it. Maybe, at the very least, Trump’s plan will put a stop to federal bureaucrats discouraging the disabled from returning to work, yes? That’s be a huge reform plus. Not only would it recognize the idea that disabled does not mean one step from dead. But it also actually incentivizes those disabled who want to return to self-sufficiency. Again, good things that would seem to draw in support from both sides of the political aisle.

But this is where we’re hitting the nerve.

Trump’s plan offers a dramatic deviance from the Obama era — the Obama era that spoon-fed the liberal line that government’s greatest mission was to help.

Well, it’s not. Government’s overall mission is to uphold the Constitution, not create an entitlement nation where those of less fortune are conditioned to look solely on government and the taxpayers for help. We’ve strayed as a nation from the idea of churches, charities and the private sector stepping in to help those with need, and have now turned the corner on expecting the government — the taxpayer — to spread the wealth and pay for the food, the shelter, the clothing, daycare, phones, Internet connections and so forth of the needy.

What’s more, we now scoff at the idea of the private sector, the churches, the charities even being able to provide for such needs — as if this country had been founded on a socialist-minded concept of Government Provides All and not on a Judeo-Christian vision, and a limited government, democratic-republic Constitution.

Trump’s plan gives a shout-out to the concept of accountability, individual boot-strap planning, self-reliance. And that’s what Democrats can’t stand or abide.

A government that is the provider, is a government that decides. A government that doles, is a government that determines who gets what and how much.

For Democrats, budget season is all about wrestling for control. It’s not at all about ensuring the proper constitutional programs of the U.S. government are funded, or that the taxpayer dollars are well and wisely spent. Control, for them, is the crux of the fight. The dollars and cents, disbursements and distributions, are just pieces of the game board of how the whole budget battle is being played, Democrats versus Trump, Democrats versus Republicans. And hanging in the balance: the fate of the republic and the freedom of its people.

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