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The New York Times complained months ago that too much stimulus money was going to rural areas. Remember that one, where Times reporters wrote that “it is clear that the stimulus program will continue that pattern of spending disproportionately on rural areas”? Well, what about the money set aside for rural areas that is being spent in the cities?
For example, we read yesterday a story headlined “USDA rural housing program helping San Antonio area residents buy homes.” San Antonio is the 28th largest metro area in the U.S. and the center of that city is Bexar County. The story tells us that $16 million in direct and guaranteed loans from the stimulus plan “backed 120 loans in Bexar County during the economic downturn.” U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, a San Antonio Democrat, made the announcement, saying, “While the economic downturn affected all of us, rural residents were hit particularly hard…This program is a life-saver for so many rural residents who have been unable to purchase their own homes.”
Now we understand how the Times reached its conclusion. If money spent in the middle of the 28th largest city in the country is rural, then we can see how rural America is getting a disproportionate share.