WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Special Olympics is facing a massive shortfall after the Trump administration’s proposed budget includes zero dollars for the 48-year old organization that provides sports opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended the elimination of funding to the Special Olympics by saying: “We were not seeing any results from giving them money. If you look at the top times and best results in track and field since the Special Olympics began, none of them are from special Olympians. The program was not working. Usain Bolt was not a Special Olympian. The program just wasn’t winning.”
Mulvaney also stressed that the administration could not justify to its supporters using federal funds on the program.
“When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia to pay for these programs? The answer was no,” Mulvaney said. “We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for disabled kids running relays. That’s ridiculous.”
The Special Olympics faced major funding cuts from the budget proposed by Congressional Republicans in 2011, but this budget sets aside no money — and also seeks to remove the organization’s tax exempt status.
“They’re putting on sporting events in communities all over the country, while not giving back to those communities in any way through taxes,” said Mulvaney. “That’s wrong. It’s un-American to let our healthcare CEOs be taxed while the disabled get every advantage.”