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Cut to block grant program would hurt Main Street, too

February 23, 2011
Marshall Independent

There are cuts, and then there are cuts, and the proposed cuts to the Community Services Block Grant program by the House and President Barack Obama are deeper than meets the eye. This is the very program that receives $1 billion in funding from the Obama-supported American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the president himself signed into law in 2009.

By slashing half of the $700 million federal program as he proposed in his 2012 budget, Obama isn't just crippling Community Action Agencies throughout the entire nation, he's hurting local economies as well.

It's quite a nasty one-two punch.

You wouldn't know it unless you asked, so consider for a minute all the money Western Community Action?- one of the thousands of non-profits served by the CSBG program - spends in Lyon County alone:

$1,547,201 in Marshall

$114,965.02 in Tracy

$36,496.54 in Balaton

$34,909.60 in Minneota

$13,011.39 in Cottonwood

$8,633.56 in Garvin

$4,705.96 in Taunton

$2,603.53 in Ghent

That's money spent in direct purchases. Locally. In Marshall, WCA?has worked with and has spent money at just about every entity in town. Then there's the $1,972,314.54 paid out in salaries and the $741,056 in third-party purchases. That's quite an investment in Lyon County alone. It's called putting money back into the local economy. And Obama and the House have proposed to all but gut the program that helps subsidize agencies like Western Community Action?

We should all know by now there's no such thing as a good cut, but some, it's pretty clear, are worse than others. And this would be one of them.

This wouldn't be just a blow to Western Community Action and other non-profits throughout the country, this would be a blow to thousands of Main Streets - yours included.



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