Monday, April 03, 2017

It seemed like a good idea at the time.


It is probably a hard story to write if the reporter has any feelings, but it is getting easier to find. The people who eagerly embraced Donald Trump in the November election are now discovering how eagerly he wants to screw them out of any government service or program that may make their lives better. The New York Times to day reports on one county in Ohio.
Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating units, but three years ago, with multiple sclerosis advancing, he had to leave his job.

By 2015, Ms. Pavlic was supporting her husband and their three children on an annual salary of $9,000, earned at a restaurant. That year, they tapped a county program funded by Congress, called the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, to help repair their house.

The next year, they voted for Donald J. Trump, who has moved to eliminate the HOME program.

The Pavlics’ ceiling may no longer be cracked, but in the zero-sum game that Mr. Trump’s budget seeks to set up, the nation is showing new fissures. The president’s budget proposal would cut deeply into the Department of Housing and Urban Development, paring rental assistance and eliminating heating and air-conditioning aid, energy-efficiency assistance, and partnerships with local governments like HOME. With the savings, Mr. Trump says, he would beef up military spending and build a wall along the Mexican border.

“Keeping the country safe compared to keeping my bathroom safe isn’t even a comparison,” Mr. Pavlic, 42, said. “We have people who are coming into this country who are trying to hurt us, and I think that we need to be protected.”
As if we can't afford to do both at the same time.
HOME Investment Partnerships is one of dozens of programs and independent agencies aimed at the poor — including the Appalachian Regional Commission, AmeriCorps, the Legal Services Corporation and the Interagency Council on Homelessness — that Mr. Trump has proposed cutting. The budget for the fiscal year beginning in October would cut $6.2 billion — about 13 percent — from HUD, eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program, which funds local initiatives like Meals on Wheels and anti-poverty efforts; and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity and Choice Neighborhoods programs, which aim to replace distressed public housing with mixed-income development.

Trumbull County, where the Pavlics live, teamed up with the City of Warren in the 1990s to create the Warren-Trumbull HOME Consortium, which receives about $450,000 a year from HUD to repair homes, assist with down payments, finance affordable housing and build housing for people suffering from chronic mental illness, said Julie Edwards, the economic development coordinator for the county’s planning commission.

The county, which voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, is the type of place where people might hope to be great again. Open fields of overgrown grass line winding roads that lead to rusted steel mills and shuttered factories. The median household income in the county, which is about 90 percent white and 8 percent black, dropped by $7,400, to $42,368, from 2006 to 2015, while the population declined by 14,000, to 203,750. Near Kinsman is Masury, which locals have nicknamed Misery.

“Our county voted for President Trump, so I’m not sure they quite understand what is going to happen,” Ms. Edwards said. “I don’t think people realize how much we rely on these services. I don’t think people are making the connection between cutting the HUD funds and paving our streets or building new affordable housing.”

No president’s budget is enacted as presented to Congress, and Mr. Trump’s is already facing bipartisan opposition. Representative Hal Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, pushed back hard shortly after Mr. Trump released his proposals. “While we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit, I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the president’s skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement.
As you read about this county, and all the other places where Trump was to be their savior until the axe was raised over their heads, you begin to realize the effect of multiple Republican bullshit streams directed at people who are easily fooled. The idea that there is not enough money in this country, that not enough is going to the military, that programs helping others are bad and so many bad people are coming across the borders to steal your job are pernicious falsehoods that have given us The Tangerine Shitgibbon and a Republican Congress when we need a real leader and capable lawmakers. WASF!

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