Donald Trump was the overwhelming choice of voters in Alabama. But his freeze on Federal Government hiring is hurting some of the very communities that supported his candidacy..
"According to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), more than 85 percent of federal workers live and work outside of Washington, D.C. Among the states that rely most heavily on federal jobs are Alaska, Wyoming, Mississippi, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Montana, Alabama and New Mexico. These jobs are lifelines in places where there are few other options."Quoted in The Daily Koz
In Alabama, 20% of non-farming jobs are Government positions, almost 374,000 jobs. And that may be just the start.
In Montgomery, for example, Mayor Todd Strange says a significant part of the improvements to Dexter and Madison Avenues in the past few years have been paid for with federal dollars. And virtually all of the grants announced by the office of Governor Robert Bentley to pay for improvements across the state have actually been federal dollars, though you have to read deep into the announcement to realize that.
Already The Trump White House has discussed eliminating the
National Endowment for The Arts and The National Endowment for The Humanities. He'd also like to privatize the prime source of federal dollars for public broadcasting. And all of that will have a disproportionate impact in Alabama, which has little or no money for the projects that help preserve the state's culture.
There are undoubtedly folks in Alabama who will say we don't need Big Bird, or the local festival celebrating a town's history or economic stronghold. And that's true. But those tiny slivers of the federal spending pie can have a much bigger impact in Alabama than in other less rural states.
[Pie Chart Source: Politifact]
UPDATE: The NY Times reports one positive sign for Alabama---it says Trump will seek increased military spending.
[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of www.TimLennox.com]