Trump’s budget would hit rural towns especially hard -- but they’re willing to trust him

Durant has already undergone years of state budget cuts, as Oklahoma has been unable to balance its increasing costs with declines in the oil industry, tax cuts and generous corporate tax credits. That has made federal funds even more vital to the city, especially for programs that serve the poor and working class.

“It’s very easy to look at a laundry list of things that exist and say, ‘Cut, cut, cut, cut,’ and say, ‘Well, this is wasteful spending’ without really understanding the true impact,” said Durant City Manager Tim Rundel, who grew up in poverty in northwest Arkansas. “The bottom line is a lot of our citizens depend on those programs.”…

Harris is upset by the president’s proposed budget, which would dramatically cut funding for the Robert T. Davis Senior Center, managed by the Bryan County Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Harris said she gives each president 10 strikes before she withdraws her support.

“I have high hopes for Trump, but if he’s going to be cutting these kinds of programs, that’s going to be one,” Harris said. “And we’ll see. I hope I don’t get up to 10, but I will give him one for that.”