The Northern Counties in District 2 receive far less than the national average for Federal spending. See the downloadable flier on this website for more details. This spending includes all Federal payments that end up in the District including money for education, veterans, and family farms. We have in the District a persistent unemployment rate that far exceeds the national average and I believe there is a direct correlation between the high unemployment rate and the fact that the District does not get back its fair share of our tax dollars. If for instant Shasta and Butte Counties received just average Federal spending for rural counties, each of these Counties would receive more than an additional $1 billion dollars per year. That much more money flowing through these Counties should create enough new jobs to cut the unemployment rate there in half.
The incumbent has often sought money for the District through the process called earmarks, which is a funding add-on to some unrelated legislation. This unpopular method of funding critical local projects is just how things get done in Washington. Last year Congress changed its rules on publicizing earmarks; any Congressional Representative who asks for an earmark has the request immediately made public. The prior rule was that only earmark requests that were successful were made public. The incumbent has signed a pledge not to ask for any earmarks starting in 2010. Although this pledge may be politically popular, it does a disservice to the District because this source of Federal funding is now completely dried-up. If we have not gotten our fair share of our tax dollars back to our District in the past, just imagine what lies ahead for the future.