"Many rural development programs (rural housing, electric, and community facilities) lose 8.2 percent of their budgets under the automatic cut," she writes. "You have probably driven by a sign in a rural community with the USDA logo about upcoming construction or renovation. These programs build libraries, lay pipe for new water systems, help build new houses, and support many other projects that mean that rural communities have a higher quality of life; they also mean jobs for the people working on those projects. Under an automatic budget cut set to occur on Jan. 1, less funding is available for those types of projects."
We like her conclusion: "Going over the cliff seems drastic and avoidable. Veering away from the cliff will mean hard choices and shared pain. However, if those hardships and pain result in a more sustainable economic future, then they are justified and necessary. We will all have to accept some willingness to walk away from lines drawn in the sand rather than spending our time redrawing lines in fresh cement." (Read more)