LETTER: Trump budget hits rural areas hard

May 6, 2017

Many who believe both our deficits and current spending levels are unsustainable are applauding President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that his first budget includes $54 billion in reductions.

It is clear cuts of this magnitude to certain programs will result in a significant hit to many Indiana rural communities.

While serving as the director of the State Community Development Block Grant Program at the Indiana office of Community and Rural Affairs, I witnessed how much these grants meant to rural Hoosiers who are looking to create jobs, improve their quality of life, and foster economic development.

In President Trump’s proposal, the CDBG budget would be completely eliminated. If approved, this decision could be devastating to many Indiana communities.

My point is not to argue against reasonable fiscal restraint; we should all expect our government to be judicious with our tax dollars.

Balance and foresight, however, are critical; these grants create jobs and affordable housing, and they provide necessary infrastructure improvements for communities that are predominantly low-to-moderate income. Eliminating them will cripple existing partnerships with private investors and philanthropic organizations.

It is vital that we urge our elected representatives to fight against eliminating CDBG funding (which is about 0.03 percent of our federal budget), while ensuring our infrastructure, housing options, and public facilities remain a vibrant resource for Hoosiers.

Kathleen Weissenberger
president and founder
KW Consultants LLC

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