This Ohio County Backed Trump, But Nothing Could Have Prepared Them For What He Did Next
Across the nation, Donald Trump voters are waking to the harsh reality of his cruel policies. But expressing regret for their foolish vote will not alleviate the pain Trump policies are already inflicting on the American people.
The New York Times reports that, for years, Joseph and Tammy Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. 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, 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 that saved their house from collapsing.
As the Times states, “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.”
Trump’s budget calls for deep cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the elimination of rental assistance and exclude heating and air-conditioning aid, energy-efficiency assistance, and partnerships with local governments like HOME. With the savings, Mr. Trump plans to beef up military spending and build a wall along the Mexican border.
“I am glad that he is our president,” Ms. Pavlic, 44, said. “But I do believe, though, that if he could see this from a personal point of view that he would probably maybe change his mind about cutting this program.”
“Any mom wants their kids to be safe, so any mom wants their home to be safe,” she added.
“Our county voted for President Trump, so I’m not sure they quite understand what is going to happen,” said Julie Edwards, the economic development coordinator for the county’s planning commission. “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.”
In the wake of increasing public outcry, Mr. Trump’s budget 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, according to the report.
“Trump’s budget would turn Washington’s back on America’s most vulnerable populations,” said Marion McFadden, the vice president for public policy at Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable housing organization.
“You’ve got an extraordinary number of low-income people who are devoting so much of their income to housing,” McFadden added. “Taking the funds away from communities will be really devastating in some places.”
Here’s a sampling of what terrified residents are saying about Trump’s proposal:
“Everything he is doing is systematically horrible for this country,” said William Brown, who hasn’t worked since 2009 after he had a heart attack and was laid off from his job and relied on HOME assistance to repair his house. “That program saved me,” he said. “For him to even consider taking a program away when we can spend all this money for him to go down to Florida every weekend, how many people can use that money?”
In Warren, Amber Barr, 34, lives in a women’s supportive housing complex and regrets voting for Mr. Trump. She and her 4-year-old daughter, Brooklynn, survive on a $588 disability check and $340 in food stamps every month. Her rent is $99, and she fears that Mr. Trump’s housing cuts are just the beginning.
“If I didn’t have these programs, I wouldn’t have any kind of support, I wouldn’t have any kind of direction as to what to do, where to go, and I wouldn’t have any money to help me find resources,” Ms. Barr said, as she began to cry.
Housing assistance has helped her focus on getting treatment for hepatitis C, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety. It also meant escaping the temporary housing she was in for several months after leaving an abusive relationship.
Last week, as she thought of Mr. Trump’s budget, Ms. Barr stood outside her building nervously clutching the only money she had left for the month: six quarters she hoped to put under her daughter’s pillow as a gift from the tooth fairy.
“I don’t plan on being here forever,” Ms. Barr said, wiping away tears. “People that are getting help right now are succeeding. People are not going to succeed. They are going to give up.”
Let’s face it: Trump voters were conned. But the 2018 elections will give them a perfect chance to correct their mistake by voting Democrat and save the country from Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress.
Photo source: New York Times.