Many rural Trump voters are now feeling betrayed by their president after he released his budget proposal on Tuesday.
Trump’s budget calls for massive cuts on popular programs aimed at helping people in rural areas across the country. Programs like crop insurance, Medicare, food stamps, and rural airline subsidies all face drastic cuts if not outright elimination.
Raw Story reports, that according to network polls, November Trump voters in rural areas voted in his favour 61-34 percent over Hillary Clinton. Voters in Kansas alone voted for Trump by a margin of 56-36.
Republican Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts both vowed to fight Trump’s budget. Roberts chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Moran helps set federal spending levels.
Both men are appalled by Trump’s proposed cuts which include reducing crop insurance by $28.5 billion over the next ten years, a 36 percent cut which is much more than former President Barrack Obama ever proposed.
Roberts was clearly annoyed saying that Trump’s cuts are “not viable” and “very troubling” for his state.
“We’ve had a freeze, and we’ve had a historic prairie fire, and then we had another freeze and we’ve lost about 40 percent of the wheat crop,” he said. “How on earth are those farmers supposed to stay in business without crop insurance?”
Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union and vice president of the National Farmers Union, view the cuts as a betrayal to promises Trump made to farmers.
“We’re in the middle of a farm crisis with no end in sight and they look at what the president’s proposing and they don’t see any help. They see a slap in the face,” said Teske, who runs a small family farm in Wheaton, Kan., that grows soybeans and raises cattle.
Moran called Trump’s attempt to eliminate rural air subsidies “very concerning.”
“The ability to keep rural America alive and well revolves around our ability to connect to the rest of the world,” he said. “That air service matters.”
Meanwhile, Claire McCastkill, Democratic Senator from Missouri who’s currently running for re-election in a state that went for Trump by 19 points last November, said she’s perplexed by why Trump would approve a budget that placed such a heavy burden on the very voters who put him in the White House.
“I mean is it possible that he doesn’t understand it?” McCaskill said. “I don’t know. I think if he doesn’t, somebody needs to get word to him quickly that he’s devastating the very communities that showed the most support for him.”
McCastkill said she didn’t know whether or not Trump was listening to the counsel of Republican lawmakers from rural states.
“But if they’re not listening to Pat Roberts, that ought to really have everybody scratching their head,” she said.
Rural Trump voters and their elected representatives are learning the hard way that Trump only pays attention to the last people who kiss his ass the hardest. Explaining anything to Trump is pointless unless you have the final word, and with people like Steve Munchin and Steven Bannon in his ear, that’s all but impossible.
The good news is that it’s highly unlikely Trump’s budget will ever see the light of day, as Republican lawmakers are already writing their own budget plan, one which Trump is sure to claim credit for once they’re finished.
The bad news is that it will still be a Republican budget that will likely still hurt the same disadvantage voters who put their faith in Trump and the GOP.