Buyer's Remorse, Anyone?
As if that "drop dead" attitude toward our state's largest industry isn't enough to compel serious concern, the Trump administration's proposed budget looks to be a real kick in the rear end to South Dakotans. If you're cheering the possibility of severe cutbacks in most areas of federal spending in order to raise extra money for the Defense Department, you should know that much more than our ag sector will be affected by Trump-o-nomics. The budget cuts for rural programs overseen by the Department of Agriculture are more than mere snips. In some cases (rural water and waste disposal, direct loans for single family housing are examples) the funding disappears altogether, amounting to amputation. In others the cuts are merely severe: rural utilities will lose billions, rural business owners tens of millions. Trump, who "loves the poorly educated" will continue on his quest to expand that element of his base by zeroing out programs that fund community learning centers, literacy development, and other educational opportunity grants.
I suppose that some devoted guns-over-butter Trumpistas are willing to trade these programs in on another aircraft carrier or two, but for most of us rural denizens a bit of consideration seems to be in order at this point. Our generally kowtowing Congressional reps are likely to feel some heat over their champion Trump's priorities, which is why the phrase "dead on arrival" is frequently applied to Trump's budget as it moves toward Congress for consideration. Worthy outcome as that would be, there's a much more practical aftereffect, disclosing as it does the indifference that the Trump administration has for the impact of his rhetoric on the day to day lives of millions of rural Americans.