Regina Feltner, a retired nurse, was recovering from side effects of radiation therapy when she got the notice that her heat would be cut off. It was a bone-cold January day. The snow was so high that her daughter had to come over to take the dog out.
“I have lung cancer and it’s the dead of winter,” she remembers thinking. “What am I going to do?”
Help came in the form of a heating subsidy: money from the federal government, delivered by the Highland County Community Action Organization, a small nonprofit in rural southern Ohio, where Ms. Feltner lives.
Now, that program is on the chopping block. It is one of many cuts in President Trump’s new budget proposal that would inflict the deepest pain on the most vulnerable Americans — a great number of whom voted for him.Continue reading the main story
“I understand what he’s trying to do, but I think he’s just not stopping to think that there are people caught in the middle he is really going to hurt,” said Ms. Feltner, 57, who was a nurse for 25 years and voted for Mr. Trump. “He needs to make some concessions for that. I was a productive citizen. Don’t make me feel worthless now.”
As news of Mr. Trump’s budget begins to sink in across the country, Americans are trying to parse what the changes to the government’s spending plan might mean for them. It is only a proposal, an opening bid in what is likely to be a protracted public argument over national priorities. But it is important because it signals what the new president is thinking, his wish list for the size and shape of government.
In two days of interviews with beneficiaries of programs at risk in 11 states, many people said they did not see themselves reflected in Mr. Trump’s vision for the government. And some felt surprise at what has been left out.
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