Politics, Economy and Agriculture Collide

Feb 7, 2020  | 2 min  | Ep4525

A winter storm stretching from Texas to New York has already taken more than 5 lives and cut power for several hundred thousand customers.

The storm rounded out a week where politics took center stage in rural America.

A messy caucus Monday led to Tuesday’s State of the Union and Wednesday’s acquittal of the President.

As of Friday, the results for the Iowa caucus were too close to call with all eyes switching to New Hampshire.

Iowans travelled to rural city locations on a winter’s night at the beginning of the week to officially cast support for their presidential candidate as part of the Iowa Caucuses.

Gathering in church halls and high school gyms, the results of what was decided that night were delayed on the Democrats’ side of the process of picking a nominee.

Iowa Republicans picked President Donald Trump as their winner as he went in front of America the next night, delivering his third State of the Union address.

The President focused on many things, with the biggest applause lines from his statements about the economy.

Donald Trumps: “From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements. Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American.”

Farmers were mentioned once in reference to new trade deals.

However, the National Farmers Union responded to claims made by the president about the “great American comeback” with a statement that farm debt has climbed to its highest level since the 1980’s farm crisis.

Farmers and ranchers continue to take the brunt of the trade war even with a signed cease-fire in place. Chapter 12 bankruptcies increased in 2019, but are still below historic highs according to a report by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The increase of 20 percent – almost 600 farms – is the highest filing rate since 2010, the year following the Great Recession. 

Contact: Paul.Yeager@iowapbs.org


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