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A temperature check of the nation's economy ahead of the midterm

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Do campaign promises hold much weight in combating the nation's high inflation and economic woes?

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer focuses on a few issues on voters' minds less than a week from the midterm election.

First, climate scientist Gene Takle of Iowa State University talks about the funds allocated from the Inflation Reduction Act with the goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions roughly in half by 2030.

Later, ISU economist Peter Orazem looks at how recent economic data measures up to political candidates' rhetoric, and The Gazette's Tom Barton shares how Iowa Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate is trying to tamp down election misinformation while local candidates in his own party are pushing conspiracy theories.


  • Gene Takle, professor emeritus of agronomy, Iowa State University
  • Peter Orazem, professor of economics, Iowa State University
  • Tom Barton, deputy Des Moines bureau chief, The Gazette
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.