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Letter: Trump has betrayed his middle-class supporters

President Donald Trump's budget outline, while largely meaningless from a policy perspective, reveals a lot about his administration's priorities. And to rural and working America, the president appears to have turned a cold shoulder.

While there can certainly be reasonable disagreements about the amount of federal programs and the level of money they receive, this budget would simply cut many programs average Americans benefit from. Instead of trying to streamline and target government spending, the Trump administration seems intent on simply reducing investment in places like North Dakota.

The federal budget should reflect the challenges of our time, challenges that Trump himself used to propel himself to victory last fall. We have a middle class that hasn't seen real wage growth in years and rural communities that are in dire need of investment and innovation. It's hard to tell how Trump's budget would address these issues, if it does at all.

Government funding, whether it's for fighter jets, rural water systems or financial aid for higher education, should reflect the needs of the country. One could wonder how Trump's administration is currently even making these distinctions, given that it appears to be only partially staffed and the president himself seems to rely more on cable talk show hosts than experienced policy experts for advice.

Supporting working and middle-class Americans should always be a priority, not just when a politician like Trump needs our votes. Hopefully Congress will take a more pragmatic approach to the nation's budget.

Cleary lives in Grand Forks.

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