|Richard Oswald of Atchison County, Missouri, has an interesting article today in the Daily Yonder that takes a grim look at the incoming administration’s stimulus package and small town, rural America. Will the Stimulus Starve Small Towns?
It’s a wake up call for small town and rural officials. What should happen is that rural area legislators devise a plan to include rural areas in the upcoming Great American Bail- Out. The problem is that much of rural America went red in the last election. When everybody needs help, it’s only natural to help one’s friends first. That means that rural areas will be at the end of the line when the checks get handed out.
At least Missouri, the author’s homeplace, has Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who got on board with the Obama team early. West Kentucky is represented by all Republicans, who won’t be on the White House Christmas card list next year. Senator McConnell leads the loyal opposition in the Senate and the national press is beginning to focus on his role in the next Congress. Will McConnell crash Obama honeymoon?
As far as Kentucky’s other senator, Jim Bunning, suffice it to say that he hates all stimulus packages –even those that help his constituents in the year before he comes up for election.
First District Congressman Ed Whitfield is a GOP back bencher who lost what little influence he had in the last election. West Kentucky’s other congressman, S. Brett Guthrie, is new and also a member of the minority party.
Unless there’s a miracle, rural West Kentucky will be neglected by Washington for the same reason that the Purchase will be neglected by the 2009 General Assembly: representation by the party out of power.