John Oliver says the best argument against President Donald Trump’s budget comes from Trump himself.
In explaining the budget blueprint the White House put forward last week, the Last Week Tonight host on Sunday pointed to an excerpt from Trump’s The Art of the Deal: “You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”
Trump’s budget plan, which still needs (and is unlikely to get) congressional approval to become law, does keep some of Trump’s promises — particularly by spending more on the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But as Oliver pointed out, it also cuts some programs that Trump’s voters in red, rural states rely on. He pointed in particular to the Appalachian Regional Commission, which funds hundreds of programs annually “to address the persistent poverty and growing economic despair of the Appalachian Region.” As my colleague Brad Plumer explained, one government review in 2016 found that the ARC created or saved at least 23,000 jobs and provided 25,500 households with infrastructure services such as water or broadband.
These are the exact kind of jobs in the exact kind of region that Trump promised he’d save when he claimed his presidential campaign was “the last shot for the miners.” Yet if his budget proposal goes through, these voters may lose hundreds of programs that protect thousands of their jobs.
“I think people are catching on,” Oliver said. “It’s taking longer than is perhaps ideal, but I think pretty soon all of us will be fed up right up to the tippy fucking top.”