JUNE 13, 2011
In his never-ending expansion of government, President Barack Obama has created the first-ever White House Rural Council to promote economic prosperity and qualify of life for the poor.Created by executive order this month, the new council will help low-income residents in rural communities access public funds for “economic growth” and will “promote innovation” and improve access to health care and education.It will also focus on job creation in those areas, bringing access to credit, creating “digital and physical networks,” expanding “ecosystem markets” and developing “renewable energy projects.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide the taxpayer money and administrative support for the new committee.Obama’s Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, will chair the rural council and the heads of all major federal agencies will serve as members and key advisors. Among them are the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Education and Energy. Attorney General Eric Holder will also serve on the new panel.Their job will be to coordinate programs across government and “increase the impact of federal dollars” to “improve the quality of life in rural America.” The entire country will benefit from this federal investment because “strong rural communities are key to a strongerAmerica,” according to the president.This new USDA venture comes on the heels of several other like-minded and costly Obama initiatives at the agency. In the last few months the USDA has doled out tens of millions of dollars to bring healthy foods to the inner city, recruit more food-stamp recipients and track what minority public school children eat for lunch.Just a few days ago the agency dropped $10 million on a Farmers Market Promotion Program that will bring fresh and healthy cuisine to low-income neighborhoods (“food deserts”) across the country. Last month the USDA launched a sophisticated internet-based mapping tool (Food Desert Locator) that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.”
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