John Oliver Calls Trump's Proposed Budget the 'End Credits for America'
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump constantly promised he'd run America "like a business." And Trump's budget proposal, announced last week, has become a major indicator of how he plans to do that.
"This budget is simply a blueprint, what's known in Washington as a skinny budget, which sounds like a line item that Trump might have included in one of his prenups," John Oliver remarked on "Last Week Tonight."
Among other things, Trump's blueprint calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending, paralleled with sweeping cuts to a wide range of other federal programs.
"It is sort of fitting that the list of budget cuts scroll by like the end credits for America," Oliver mused after rolling a CNN clip. "Thanks for helping us out, Agriculture Department. Hope you find a gig with the next country that rises from our ashes."
Trump's budget is very unlikely to pass in its current form. However, "it is worth taking just a few minutes to look at it partly because it gives us a clear sense of our president's priorities, but also because it gives us a chance to get to know yet another one of the Trump administration's key characters," Oliver explained.
Granted, "we've met most of them by now, [chief strategist] Steve Bannon, a wealthy former Goldman Sachs banker who somehow constantly looks like he just woke up on a park bench after losing custody of his children... [counselor to the president] Kellyanne Conway, the brave survivor of a terrorist attack she completely made up, and...[senior adviser] Stephen Miller, the least popular boy at vampire school," Oliver rattled off.
On the other hand, another member of the Trump team, Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, gained notoriety this week through his highly scientific process of interpreting Trump's message.
"Basically Mulvaney treated Trump's past statements the way Trump treats women; randomly singling out a few of them and then reducing them down to numbers," Oliver explained. "But that cannot have been easy when you think about it, because translating the noises that come out of Trump's face into hard policy prescriptions is almost impossible."