President Donald Trump's controversial proposal to ax funding for "Meals on Wheels" — the non-profit that delivers prepared food to housebound seniors and the disabled — will end a failed Democratic giveaway, says Larry Kudlow, who served as an economic adviser to Trump's presidential campaign.
"They looked at it, it did not work," Kudlow, a radio talk-show host and CNBC senior contributor, said Friday told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live."
"They looked hard at it, and like so many of these programs, the intentions may be good, the reality is they did not work and you just can't keep going on year in and year out.
"These things become Democratic Party giveaways, that's all they are. You've got eight years of Obamacare and they're just giving stuff away, there's numerous examples of that, community healthcare grants, all this stuff, community block grants, stuff doesn't work. So why stay with it?"
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Trump's first federal budget, released this week, suggested the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program as well as cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services. Both partly fund Meals on Wheels, which helps about 2.4 million people.
It was immediately criticized by social services organizations and senior citizens groups.
In an opinion piece for CNN, Rachel Black, co-director of the Family-Centered Social Policy program at New America, said the proposal was one of Trump's "cruelest cuts."
"Fiscal responsibility is a good idea but not when the result is morally bankrupt. Left unchecked, this budget will have an immediate and negative material impact on our nation, and the world's, most vulnerable people," Black wrote.
And Quartz, a global-economy news website, remarked: "You could feed 5,967 homebound seniors for a year on what Trump's Mar-a-Lago trips cost so far."
Kudlow's view mirrors that of White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney who said federal money for Meals on Wheels and similar social programs face the ax because they "don't work."
"Meals on Wheels sounds great," Mulvaney told reporters at the daily White House briefing on Thursday. "That's a great state decision, but to take the federal money and give it to states — and say we want to give you money to programs that don't work, we can't defend that anymore.
"We can't do that anymore. We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good and great. We're $20 trillion in debt. We can't spend money on programs that cannot show they actually deliver promises to people."
Trump is also proposing the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and cutting to zero all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Kudlow is on board with the plan.
"Donald Trump pledged to shrink the federal government and he pledged to increase military, which he's doing … and he's going to shrink the domestic side, which was full of waste, fraud, and abuse for heaven's sakes," Kudlow told Malzberg.
"I mean look, if you want to watch ‘Masterpiece Theater,' which I love to watch, I don't see why you can't watch that on Amazon … I don't get it. Why do taxpayers have to pay for all this stuff? It's the 21st century. I think it's a great budget, absolutely great budget."
Kudlow is author of the book "JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity," written with Brian Domitrovic and published by Portfolio.
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