“…People need to know, all the major policies that have been announced so far by the Trump administration, all of them disadvantage rural Missouri…”
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) continued her face to face contact with constituents in Missouri on Saturday with several events in Kansas City.
The Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus hosted a forum with Senator McCaskill midday. Close to one hundred fifty individuals attended. The Senator spoke for about twenty minutes then took questions for about an hour.
One of the questions was on Donald Trump’s (r) policies and agriculture in Missouri:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): [….]
….People need to know, all the major policies that have been announced so far by the Trump administration, all of them disadvantage rural Missouri. [voice: “Yes.”]
Um, the health insurance plan, um, a, a farmer in Ralls County that makes thirty thousand dollars a year and is sixty years old, his premiums would go from about twenty-five hundred a year to about twelve thousand dollars a year under the plan that was passed by the House. That’s because he’s older and because he lives in a rural area. And those two things are a double whammy on their plan.
The second thing that hurts rural Missouri is education. Um, what they don’t, they haven’t figured out, [Secretary of Education] Betsy DeVos hasn’t figured out that the vast majority of my state there is no choice. [voices: “That’s right.”][applause] I mean, most people out in rural Missouri, there’s not a lot of private schools to pick from. There’s a public school system. Period. It’s the beating heart of those communities. And when you cream, when you skim the cream and money from public school it is directly hurting rural school districts so that private schools in the cities can get more money. Um, so that’s the second thing he’s done to rural Missouri.
The third thing he’s done to rural Missouri is his infrastructure plan. His infrastructure plan that we have seen, the only one we’ve seen, depends on private investment. Now I got news for you. Nobody wants to build a road and put toll on it between Chillicothe and Albany. [laughter] Nobody wants to fix a bridge down in Shannon County because there’s not enough traffic on it for it to make money for a private business. And when you do private infrastructure what you’re saying is we’re gonna toll roads and toll bridges. ‘Cause no private business invest in a road unless they’re gonna get their money back. [voice: “Right.”] They have to have a source of revenue.
Now I’m not, Missouri doesn’t have any tolling, and if other states want to toll, that’s fine. But I think we’ve got to make sure that the White House understands that for rural Missouri, for all of Missouri, we need to make sure there’s public money in the infrastructure bill so the needs can be met even if they’re not in highly trafficked areas. Okay.
The fourth thing, and the thing Kay was referring to, is trade. When you do bilateral trade deals and you cut countries off from multilateral trade deals. That causes retaliation. Okay. There is like, okay, you’re gonna do this to us, we’re gonna do this to you. There’s, for every action in the trade area there is a reaction. So, it’s not as simple as going that’s a bad deal we’re getting out of it. It’s what can we get in that will protect our agricultural economy in Missouri. And the, the scary thing about his back and forth on NAFTA in the last week, first of all, not only does that dramatically affect our corn growers and our bean growers ‘cause their number one export is Canada, their number two export is Mexico, their number three export is China, not only is it dramatically affect them it also affects companies like Kansas City Southern, the railroad, the big building downtown with lots of employees. Their stock went down five percent just when he said we’re gonna withdraw from NAFTA. Now, then he went back and reversed it. You know, he said, never mind the day. [laughter] But, this uncertainty with our agricultural economy in Missouri , and that has ripple effect all the way to the very, very heart of both Kansas City and St. Louis.
So, Mexico doesn’t have to buy corn from us. They can buy corn from Brazil. Um, China can, is, they’re about to open up foreign ownership in Brazil, China can buy a bunch of land in Brazil and grow cotton there and bring it back to China.
So, we’ve got to be really careful and there’s no question that our corn growers and our bean growers are in jeopardy with some of the trade policies that President Trump is talking about….
And yet, a majority in Missouri voted for him. Anyone think they’ll figure it out?
What a difference eight years makes (April 13, 2017)