Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says it’s time for the federal government to do more to improve life in small towns and bolster the rural economy. During a speech today in Nevada, Edwards proposed a billion dollar federal economic developmjent fund to attract investors and entrepreneurs to rural America. He’s also calling for high-speed Internet access throughout the nation’s rural areas as well as bonuses for those who teach in rural schools.Edwards says there’s a crisis in rural America and George W. Bush just doesn’t get it. Edwards says just because Bush has “a new ranch” and wears a “big belt buckle” does not mean he’s fighting for rural America.Edwards says he’s running for president to lead the “real America” he says Bush likes to talk about but “always seems to forget.” Edwards says “recession has become a permanent way of life in rural America.” Edwards’ Rural Economic Advancement Challenge or REACH fund would send a billion dollars of capital investmennt into rural America over the next five years. In addition, he would create “Rural Revitalization Zones” and award tax credits and other incentives to businesses in those areas.
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