2017-06-07 / Letters

Kentucky, then WV?

Dear Editor:

I just drove cross-country from the desert Southwest, through thickening traffic, into the lush mountains of West Virginia. As the natural beauty of our country unfolded local newspapers displayed increasingly ugly headlines about government programs that help poor people.

By far, the most heartbreaking—and cautionary— story appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader, which told of major cuts in safety-net and other programs that sustain impoverished citizens of Eastern Kentucky- -citizens who overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.

I read that the President proposes killing the Appalachian Regional Commission, which provides hundreds of millions of dollars for roads, waterlines, worker training, and other programs in Eastern Kentucky.

President Trump’s proposed budget also eliminates $30 million that would reclaim Kentucky’s abandoned coalfields and would diversify an economy devastated by the loss of coal jobs. Many other casualties were reported, but the death of these two programs suggested: “Where goes Kentucky, so goes West Virginia.”

As the head of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy concluded, “It’s a cruel budget.”

Maureen Mylander

Great Cacapon

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