Demographically speaking, Donald Trump’s victory last November was propelled by white, older Americans with little to no college education, who made less than $30,000 a year. Without the support of poor, undereducated white people, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump wouldn’t have had a shot in hell of winning the election, so obviously, Trump is going to want to keep his base happy with his new budget, right?
Not so much.
Donald Trump released his budget blueprint this morning, and it’s calling for moderate to drastic cuts to every single federal agency except military, homeland security, and veterans affairs. He wants to reduce the EPA by 31 percent, the State Department by 29 percent, Labor and Agriculture by 21 percent, etc. etc.
Importantly, he also has plans to completely eliminate many of the very programs that benefit his voters the most, like Legal Services (which helps low income people fight evictions and domestic violence and maintain their government benefits); 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provides afterschool programs in high poverty areas; Appalachian Regional Commission, which invests in economics projects in coal miner country; Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing, which provides income assistance for low income people, as does the Community Development Block Grant, also being marked for elimination; Community Development Financial Institutions Fund grants, which provides financial support for underserved communities (i.e., rural America); Delta Regional Authority, which provides job opportunities in the poorest region in America, the Mississippi Delta; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides energy assistance to poor people; Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides job assistance to poor, older Americans; and Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides assistance to poor people for weatherizing their homes.
Trump will also cut funding to Meals on Wheels, which provides food assistance to old people.
There’s others, too, but a large bulk of these programs targeted for elimination are aimed at many of the same people who benefit from the Affordable Care Act, many of whom voted for Donald Trump. The older, white working class who have seen manufacturing jobs dry up in the last decade are many of the same people who need job assistance; housing assistance; legal assistance to stay in their homes and keep their benefits; and energy assistance, to keep their homes warm in the winter.
Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about those people. Donald Trump is going to drastically reduce assistance to those coal miners in West Virginia, and the single mothers in Detroit, but he’s going to hide those reductions behind the proposed cut that will get all the attention: PBS.
Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, the Office and Management Budget Director had to say about the proposed budget this morning on Morning Joe:
“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 or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no. We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”
Ironically, you know who benefits the most from PBS? It’s not the Downton Abbey-loving set. Or middle class people, who have access to preschools. It’s low-income people who rely on Sesame Street and other PBS Kids’ programming. For low income families, PBS Kids is often the best — or only — resource they have for preparing their children for kindergarten.
Work study programs have also been targeted for elimination, as has the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, reserved for college students with the greatest need for financial aid.
In other words, under President Trump, President Trump’s voters will be sicker, poorer, and have less opportunities for economic assistance, healthcare, and the tools they might need to escape poverty.
Hey! But at least they’re also getting rid of the National Endowment for the Arts, which cost less per year than what it costs to provide security for Melania Trump. Poor people can take solace in the fact that artists will have to seek funding from the private sector while they are freezing and starving to death with no ability to treat their cancer or diabetes. Artists have Kickstarter now. Poor Trump voters are left with only their pride and the “lock her up” chants to keep them warm.