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Meals-on-Wheels and Political Symbolism

Ending Meals-on-Wheels is a great talking point… when there is no chance of it ever happening. It signals tough budgetary discipline and rugged individualism – values people respond well to, making it a great campaign strategy for a minority party. But when you find yourself controlling government and actually doing it, it goes from being abstract signaling to actually affecting people’s lives. And suddenly the applause stops. Because the number of people who actually want to literally starve the elderly to give billionaires tax cuts is nowhere near the number of people who will clap and cheer at rallies where people wave the flag and talk about small government.

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