All errors should be reported to DonSurber@gmail.com

Friday, March 17, 2017

Goodbye, Appalachian Regional Commission

President Trump wants to end the Appalachian Regional Commission, a creation of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson that was meant to end the poverty and misery of a region that lagged behind the rest of the nation in income, education, health care, and transportation.

After 50-plus years, the area still lags behind the rest of the nation in income, education, health care, and transportation.


The area includes all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states. Its budget was $120 million in 2017.

County commissions appoint development offices, which grab federal grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission for projects that never seem to help the area, although well-connected politicos seem to do well.

I mean, why else run for county commissioner?

Unless you are really into appointing guardians ad litem.

And the Appalachian Regional Commission gets great press. The Charleston Gazette bellowed: "Trump budget axes program that funds WV infrastructure projects." The newspaper seems stuck on May 10, 1960, when Jack Kennedy won the West Virginia primary.

But the real halt to federally funded state projects came when Bob Byrd died in June 2010.

Despite the decades of infrastructure spending, West Virginia is now the second-poorest state in the country, after Mississippi, which is also in this consortium of states.

And thanks to the collapse of the coal industry -- hastened by the Obama regime -- and Big Pharma's pushing opioids, West Virginia has led the nation in the rate of drug overdose rates for the past decade.

The test for funding the Appalachian Regional Commission: is it working?

No.

Defund it.

But the spoils of the ARC are bipartisan.

Republican Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky released a statement:
“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.  In particular, the Appalachian Regional Commission has a long-standing history of bipartisan support in Congress because of its proven ability to help reduce poverty rates and extend basic necessities to communities across the Appalachian region.  Today, nearly everyone in the region has access to clean water and sewer, the workforce is diversifying, educational opportunities are improving and rural technology is finally advancing to 21st Century standards.  But there is more work to be done in these communities, and I will continue to advocate for sufficient funding for ARC and similar programs, like the Economic Development Administration.”
Draconian. Every cut in Washington is draconian.

You know what is draconian? Continuing a failed government program that lines the pockets of the connected in the name of helping the poor.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is a failure that President Reagan should have axed.

You want to drain the swamp? Start at the headwaters in Appalachia.



"Trump the Establishment" is now on Kindle.

"Trump the Establishment" is also available in paperback.

This is the sequel to "Trump the Press," which covered the nomination. The original -- "Trump the Press" -- is available on Kindle, or in paperback on Amazon.

Autographed copies are available by writing me at DonSurber@GMail.com

Please follow me on Twitter.

Friend me on Facebook.

23 comments:

  1. I think every edifice, highway and mud puddle in America bearing Robert "Sheets" Byrd's name should be renamed. I lived in WV for 15 months during Bubba Clinton's presidency and it was mind-boggling how ubiquitous the honors were bestowed upon the late Klansman.
    -Fred

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you tee off on 16 up here at The Woods, you can turn around and see Byrd's "getaway" place. The thing is practically a mansion. Gotta be 5-6 bedrooms, YUGE walkout patio, sitting atop the prettiest spot on the golf course. Ya gotta love Libs. They love livin large on other people's cash.

      Delete
    2. And republicans aren't either? We pay for BOTH sides of the aisle to be there. I've had problems with the perks they all get in general for years! On this one issue, to single out one party over the other rings hollow.

      Delete
  2. Rather like the War on Poverty, eh, Don? Poverty won that war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Over $20 Trillion has been spent on the WOP since Johnson's declaration, more than our national debt. Nice work if you can scam it.

      Delete
    2. So, basically we have financed the war on poverty by borrowing the money? If we would have forced the poor to rely on their families and communities instead of government we would have no national debt? In other words, the poor are dragging our economy down? I agree. Why are we flogging a dead horse? It's not too late to start. If we really want a free country we must let people be free to be hungry and/or homeless. If their family and/or community are concerned for their welfare let them handle it on their level. Government welfare must end. It has created generations of dependency and almost completely destroyed the family structure. It has indebted us with no discernible benefits and no effect except for the fat social workers who we pay to dole out the goodies. Folks need to go back to depending on family and community, not the government. - Elric

      Delete
    3. Thsts all well and good until the reality of these things hits. Much like these Trump supports and other republicans that are suddenly finding out just how much of the government they actually live off of with SO MANY programs. Now they are out in town hall meetings screaming dont touch my healthcare! Isn't that why they have their party all halls of power? Or did they just not think it would ever affect THEM in such a fundamental way?

      Delete
  3. I predicted weeks ago that just as soon as Trump started trying to reduce the size of government and cut spending that suddenly we would be told that each and every government employee was vital and deserving of lifetime employment, and that each and every government program was essential and that people were gonna die if we cut even one dollar from the federal budget.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ya know, I've always considered ATL as essentially the headwater of the southeastern nonmetro poverty belt that extends southwestern to TX. But, I have to admit that that KY/WV area is pretty damn dense over the area. (fig 3 & 4 here: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/publications/low_limited/lowlim06.cfm )

    ReplyDelete
  5. You got a problem?
    You got a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bringing home the bacon has become the prime activity for Congresscritters. Theoretically they should make decisions based on what is good for the ENTIRE country, but that stops the gravy train.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I live in an ARC designated "Distressed County" in Mississippi. I may be wrong, but I do not recall hearing or reading about any successes. Adios boondoggle.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My wife & I deliver Meals on Wheels once a wk out in the county here in northeast KY. Some of the places we deliver to you wonder how in the world folks live like that. ARC hasn't done squat for this area as far as we can see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you won't have to worry about that anymore, Meals on Wheels is going bye bye too.

      Delete
  9. Thank goodness....All it has done is created a "white trash" welfare state. Folks here use to be self sufficient, now they are totally dependent on the government for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another agency to "kill" is the Rural Electrification Act, enacted on May 20, 1936, which provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural areas of the United States. Under Obama it moved into Internet infrastructure for rural America. The Agency's commissioners tried to shut it down some years ago but didn't succeed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Electrification_Act

    ReplyDelete
  11. When every teensy tiny decline in the increase in spending is a Draconian Cut - hey, they're all "draconian cuts". So, make the cuts with a meat axe and what are they going to say? "About that less than expected increase being a 'draconian cut'? Umm, we were wrong."?

    ReplyDelete
  12. "To sack their staff, plunder their budgets, and kill their programs. To take their corner offices, and to hear the lamentations of their PR flacks and lobbyists. That is good."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Liberals don't seem to have the capacity to even consider that the ideas they think are wonderful do not actually work when tried. Thus, the failure of a spending project over a half-century does not mean it ought to be de-funded: its failure means we just haven't spent enough money yet.

    I do not employ this observation in merely a derogatory fashion: the liberal incapacity for correction of its own ideas vis-a-vis actual reality is a serious problem for our society.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great blog, Don! You're absolutely right. --Brad Crouser

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YEAH YEAH Surber and Crouser, It is pretty easy when the heaviest work you ever did in your life was to lift a laptop computer or IBM Selectric, so you could punch-out a few mean-spirited words advocating for the Richie Riches of the outside world to continue to be able to exploit Appalachia and Appalachians, for their own financial gain, to now come and still the few hand-ups they have left !!! I am ashamed to say you ever lived in Marion County Crouser

      Delete