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Paul Krugman: Rural Trump voters are in for a major shock

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In a brutally blunt column in the New York Times, Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman spelled out how President Donald Trump has sold out the very voters he needed to get elected — those living on farms or in rural communities — and that they may never recover from the financial beating they are taking because of his policies.

According to the economist, “Rural America is a key part of Donald Trump’s base. In fact, rural areas are the only parts of the country in which Trump has a net positive approval rating. But they’re also the biggest losers under his policies.”

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“In 2016 Trump pretended to be a different kind of Republican, but in practice almost all of his economic agenda has been G.O.P. standard: big tax cuts for corporations and the rich while hacking away at the social safety net. The one big break from orthodoxy has been his protectionism, his eagerness to start trade wars,” he wrote, adding, “And all of these policies disproportionately hurt farm country.”

“The Trump tax cut largely passes farmers by, because they aren’t corporations and few of them are rich” he explained. “One of the studies by Agriculture Department economists that raised Trumpian ire showed that to the extent that farmers saw tax reductions, most of the benefits went to the richest 10 percent, while poor farmers actually saw a slight tax increase.”

Krugman pointed out that Trump has kept those voters from seeing the true picture by lying to them — despite their on-the-ground knowledge that things are growing worse due to his trade policies and tariffs.

“Of the 100 counties with the highest percentage of their population receiving food stamps, 85 are rural, and most of the rest are in small metropolitan areas,” he pointed out. “The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which Trump keeps trying to kill, had its biggest positive impact on rural areas.”

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“A few weeks ago Trump told a cheering rally that his cuts in the estate tax have helped farmers. This claim is, however, totally false; PolitiFact rated it ‘pants on fire,'” he continued. “The reality is that in 2017 only about 80 farms and closely held businesses — that’s right, 80 — paid any estate tax at all. Tales of family farms broken up to pay estate tax are pure fiction. Another answer is to try to suppress the truth. Hence the persecution of Agriculture Department economists who were just trying to do their jobs.”

“And who will pay the price for this degradation? Rural Americans. Trump’s biggest supporters are his biggest victims,” he concluded.

You can read more here.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Facebook bans far-right website from pro-Trump advertising after they try to skirt transparency rules

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On Thursday, NBC News reported that Facebook has banned the Epoch Times from placing political advertisements, after the right-wing website tried to conceal its multimillion-dollar dark money streams and get around the social network's political advertising transparency rules in its propaganda supporting President Donald Trump.

The Epoch Times had tried to skirt rules by running ads under puppet names like "Honest Paper" and "Pure American Journalism," confusing users about who was really behind the ads.

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GOP leaders are pressuring Kansas Republican to resign from Congress immediately: report

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On Thursday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Republicans in Kansas and Washington are pressuring Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS) to step down after just eight months in office.

It is currently unclear why they are calling for his resignation.

Watkins has thus far given no indications he will leave office. His spokesman Jim Joice stated that he has no plans to resign, and disputed the idea that Republican officials are pressuring him to do so, but acknowledged there have been conversations around the topic.

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LAX customs officer calls journalist ‘fake news’ and demands to know if he works for CNN or MSNBC: report

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On Thursday, Empire Magazine's James Dyer stated in a Twitter thread that he was stopped by a customs official while arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, aggressively interrogated about his journalistic career, and accused of being "fake news":

Wow. Just... wow. Just went through LAX immigration. Presented my journalist visa and was stopped by the CBP agent and accused of being part of the ‘fake news media’.

— James Dyer (@jamescdyer) August 22, 2019

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