Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trump budget cuts may stir backlash in rural America

By Richard Cowan | WASHINGTON
President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash federal aid to the poor, the sick and people living in rural areas reflect conservatives' demands for a smaller federal government but target many of the very people who voted for him last November. In his first detailed budget submission to Congress on Tuesday, Trump requested major reductions to programs that help poor families afford groceries and poor and disabled people get healthcare. Job training for unemployed coal miners would be threatened and drug treatment programs would face cuts at a time when heroin and prescription pill addictions are tearing at rural America. Subsidies for commercial air travel in rural areas would be cut by more than half. The White House said many of the proposed cuts were aimed at ineffective programs and that the savings were needed to help balance the budget in 10 years and finance increased spending for defense and other programs. Some Republicans in Congress cheered Trump's budget. Representative Mark Meadows, who heads the House of Representatives' hard-right Freedom Caucus, called it "a great step forward" for conservatives, adding: "It's all about economic growth." But many other Republican lawmakers, seeing a budget they think will be tough to sell back home, greeted it warily. "These cuts that are being proposed are draconian. They're not mere savings. They're really deep, deep cuts," said Republican Representative Hal Rogers, whose eastern Kentucky district relies heavily on federal aid...more

This is wishful thinking on their part. They would love to see Trump's base desert him. And over budget cuts? Not hardly.

The cuts are "draconian"? That's the perspective of a 36-year Congressman, who has chaired the Appropriations Committee and served on 8 of it's subcommittees. Too many years spending too much money, and a threat to his power base. Rogers and the other chicken-hearted Republicans should step aside and let real leaders enact this budget.

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