The New York Times

April 26, 2022


Key Quotes:

  • In under two years in office, President Biden has done more for places like Guthrie County and other parts of rural America than Mr. Trump ever did. The rural economy is stronger, wages are higher and infrastructure projects are popping up all over.
  • Here in Marion County, where I live, some modest investments will make a big difference, like partial funding of a new shop for road equipment, which will extend the life of expensive equipment by sheltering it from rain and snow, or the repairs and upgrades at the law enforcement and public health centers and at the courthouse.
  • Last week, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Representative Axne noted that $5 billion from the infrastructure bill will reach Iowa and is targeted to help rural areas. The infrastructure bill is so obviously beneficial to the communities that even Republicans who voted against it are taking credit.
  • It was largely overlooked at the time, but Mr. Trump’s trade wars and tariffs inflicted a lot of damage in some rural areas reliant on food exports — so much so that the government made payouts to farmers of about $46 billion. He actually told farmers that they were better off with government payouts, which cost more than the government spends each year on the State Department or children’s health insurance, than selling overseas…Record high commodity prices under President Biden have weaned farmers off government support. The Biden administration has reduced some tariffs, though many farmers would like it to be more aggressive, especially with China and other countries in the Indo-Pacific.

Robert Leonard (@RobertLeonard), the news director for radio stations KNIA and KRLS, is the author of “Deep Midwest: Midwestern Explorations.”

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