The Washington Post reports: At the Boys and Girls Club in this rural city in southern Oklahoma, the director is unsure how he will stay open if President Trump’s proposed budget goes through, eliminating money for several staff positions.
Similar conversations are happening at the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival’s after-school arts program, which relies on National Endowment for the Arts grants that Trump wants to eliminate. And at the county senior center, which already lost its state funding and could lose all or most of its federal funding, too. And at the Farm Service Center, which supports 1,200 local producers and is staffed with employees whose positions were targeted in the budget.
In this town of 16,000 — located near the Texas border in Oklahoma’s Bryan County, where Trump won 76 percent of the vote — excitement about Trump’s presidency has been dulled by confusion over an agenda that seems aimed at hurting their community more than helping it.
The president’s proposed budget would disproportionately harm the rural areas and small towns that were key to his unexpected win. Many red states like Oklahoma — where every single county went for Trump — are more reliant on the federal funds that Trump wants to cut than states that voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Durant has already undergone years of state budget cuts, as Oklahoma has been unable to balance its increasing costs with declines in the oil industry, tax cuts and generous corporate tax credits. That has made federal funds even more vital to the city, especially for programs that serve the poor and working class. [Continue reading…]