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?
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.
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