To the Editor,
Most rural Americans believe the small-town way of life is worth fighting for and support government action to strengthen rural communities.
A poll of rural voters, conducted by the nationally respected bipartisan polling team of Celinda Lake of Lake Research and Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group, found that rural voters think for themselves and don’t neatly fit an ideological stereotype.
Over half said “owning my own business or farm is a big part of the American dream for me,” and most agreed with helping small business through cutting taxes, spending and regulation as well as through government loans, tax credits, training and antitrust enforcement. Three-fourths support tax credits and investments in new transmission lines for development of renewable energy generation in rural areas.
Eighty percent of rural voters polled support grants and loans to revitalize small towns through upgrades to water and sewer systems, roads and bridges. The same percentage support job training to improve earnings, Medicaid for health care coverage and other assistance to help the working poor afford necessities of life such the Earned Income Tax Credit. Eighty-five percent favor preschool programs to prepare lower-income children to succeed in school.
Rural voters support cutting farm subsidies to big mega farms to pay for some of these measures, while opposing general cuts in farm subsidies. They oppose across the board tax increases, but favor repealing the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $250,000.
Thank you rural America, for speaking up, we’re listening.
[email protected], Center for Rural Affairs