President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget is unlikely to pass Congress in its current form, but it nevertheless provides a blueprint for this administration's priorities and preferences.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney's press conference and subsequent news show appearances haven't staved off public outcry either, so Last Week Tonight host John Oliver made a decision to give it a shot on Sunday night.
The main story Sunday night, however, pertained to the Federal Budget ("the only beach read less appropriate than Bill Cosby's Little Bill: One Dark and Scary Night"). For example, you don't slash the EPA, State Department, USAID, public broadcasting, and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities as a cost-cutting measure - together they make up 1.62 percent of the federal budget - you cut them as a proffered middle finger. And while we may be familiar with Trump accomplices like Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, the budget also reveals a lot about a lesser-known Trump appointee, South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney, now the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Thanks for helping us out, Agriculture Department. He compared Mulvaney's methodology to "the way Trump treats women": "randomly singling out a few of them and then reducing them down to numbers". To Oliver, that sounds like "an audiobook of Farewell to Arms being broadcast by an iPhone submerged in hot coffee", but to Mulvaney, it evidently sang "increase defense spending by $54 billion". And Trump's budget proposal, announced last week, has become a major indicator of how he plans to do that. Oliver disputed this, saying: "He just needs one person to tell him that world war one was called the great war and he's going to want to have a better one out of sheer pettiness".