It seems much of our "rural development" money finds it way into influential urban Congresshumans' districts, despite need or any actual rurality.
All told, the USDA has handed out more than $70 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees since 2001 as part of its sprawling but little-known Rural Development program. More than half of that money has gone to metropolitan regions or communities within easy commuting distance of a midsize city, including beach resorts and suburban developments, a Washington Post investigation found.No wonder there isn't much money for rural broadband assistance. Or rural water systems. Or rural 9-1-1 upgrades.
More than three times as much money went to metropolitan areas with populations of 50,000 or more ($30.3 billion) as to poor or shrinking rural counties ($8.6 billion). Recreational or retirement communities alone got $8.8 billion. [More sad reading]