Thursday, March 30, 2017

NPR tests Trump's budget cuts with his rural supporters, a story that can be done many places

Chase County, Kansas
(Kansas Historical Society map)
President Trump's proposed budget cuts would eliminate or slash many programs that help rural areas, such as Chase County, Kansas, where more than $2.7 million in federal grants helped build a $6 million water treatment system that serves about 500 homes and businesses in Strong City and Cottonwood, Frank Morris reports for NPR. The water treatment system replaced an unstable 40-year-old water treatment plant located inside Strong City's abandoned high school.

Those are the kind of grants that would be eliminated by Trump's budget cuts, Morris writes. But in Chase County, where Trump earned more than 71 percent of the vote, "quite a few people actually embrace those cuts," Morris writes. Trump supporter Jim Fritch told Morris, "They've got to make cuts somewhere. Somebody's going to get cut, somebody's going to bleed a little bit. That's just a fact of life, but to get things back into balance." Jim Fink agrees, telling Morris, "If you ask me would I rather see the money go for our water plant, or to possibly try to control our borders and the security of our nation, the security of our nation is more important to me."

The NPR story is an example of how similar stories can be written about just about any rural area that would be impacted by cuts, especially areas where Trump was largely popular. Morris notes, "If passed as-is, the budget would kill programs that train workers, back small town startups and help pay for roads, sewers and broadband in some of the nation's poorest counties."

No comments: