Rural Development & The President’s Jobs Plan

Rural Development & rural healthcareDuring the President’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress on September 8, he said, “Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.”  Typically, the opposition party would be totally dismissive of such remarks, but with the U.S. economy on the ropes and a U.S. electorate demanding action to remedy it, that’s why many congressional Republicans cannot totally dismiss the remarks of the President.

Consider, with 60 million Americans living in rural communities throughout the U.S., many rural areas are struggling to deal with crumbling infrastructure including hospitals, schools, roadways and water structures.

Rural Hospitals average over 50 years old.

There are over 2000 rural hospitals in our nation. The majority of these facilities were built under the Hill-Burton Act and average over 50 years old.  These antiquated facilities are achieving subpar economic performance due to the lack of modern equipment and facilities and are losing sustainable market share each day as locals choose to leave town for even basic healthcare needs. Rural community leaders are inhibited to replace or rehabilitate hospitals due to financial constraints.

  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 132 thousand elementary and secondary schools in the United States. 28,205 of those are located in rural areas and the national average age of schools in rural areas is 41 years old. Under the President’s proposal $25 billion will be allocated to rehabilitating 35,000 schools.
  • Historic levels of agricultural exports and increasing demand for energy output is increasing congestion and giving rise to the need to expand capacity on rural roadways. And, while some progress is being made throughout rural America, one-in-four bridges in the U.S. are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  • It is estimated that more than $20 billion per year is needed to improve America’s water and waste water systems in order to meet the requirements under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act and to replace aging and failing water infrastructure. The challenge becomes more acute in rural areas as they tend to be more financially strapped as compared to urban areas.

Immediate Jobs in Rural Areas

If an agreement can be reached between the political parties in Congress it is likely some of the proposals in the American Jobs Act will have an immediate, positive economic impact, especially in rural America.

Moreover, with the tax cuts proposed and the right incentives in place, investors may seek opportunities to invest private capital in these projects.  Such private capital can be leveraged in multiple ways that help small businesses expand and hire people in rural areas.

Rural county officials and those serving on town councils know that they alone cannot succeed in growth and development for their respective communities, making it crucial for adequate private investment incentives to be a portion of the plan to spur the ailing U.S. economy.

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Cansler Consulting is an experienced lobbying firm in budgetingagricultural, rural healthcare, and energy policies and through our Congressional relationships we can help you influence the policy makers on Capitol Hill. You can contact us at info@canslerconsulting.com or at (202) 220-3150.

Tim Cansler
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