On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver analyzed President Trump‘s federal budget proposal, which boosts military and defense spending while reducing or eliminating crucial federal programs like the Environmental Protection Agency.
In response to a CNN clip with a scrolling list of departments that would face cuts under Trump’s “skinny budget,” the comedian likened the situation to the “end credits for America.” “Thanks for helping us out, Agriculture Department,” he cracked. “Hope you find a gig with the next country that rises from our ashes.”
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently revealed that he created the budget by digging through the president’s campaign promises and interviews. But Oliver proved how impossible that task must have been, highlighting Trump clips full of vague or bizarre statements. 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.”
The host closely examined some of Trump’s most shocking cuts, including the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – which, combined, made up less than .02 percent of federal spending in 2016.
Oliver closed the segment by using Trump’s own words against him, quoting a section from his best-selling 1987 book, The Art of the Deal. “You can’t con people, at least not for long,” a narrator recited. “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.”
“Oh, I think people are catching on,” Oliver said.