Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, described the $3.6 trillion cuts to domestic programs outlined in the president’s 2018 budget as “measuring compassion by the number of people we get off (Medicaid, Social Security Disability, crop insurance, etc.)”
My dictionary defines compassion as a “feeling of deep sympathy for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering”. In Mulvaney’s characterization, it appears that “deep sympathy” is absent in this budget and the “strong desire” is to line the pockets of the wealthy as a result of deep tax cuts.
I think the word he was searching for is “meanness” or “cruelty,” or at the very least “indifference” — all antonyms for compassion.