Franklin County Farm Bureau news for Dec. 7


We have just returned from the IAA annual meeting in Chicago. I always enjoy this meeting, but the only problem is that I have to leave home and go to Chicago to be there!

Our three delegates this year were Leon McClerren, Ralph Smith, Debbie Fisher and Michael Browning served as an alternate. These folks voted on every proposed resolution and represented Franklin County farmers very well.

The policies that they adopted are in a 118-page document that gives the organization positions on a host of agricultural issues. With these adopted policies, farmers can expect these issues to be guarded by the IAA board and staff to protect the interest of farmers as we labor to produce food, fiber and fuel. All of this for a $65 investment in our industry.

If anyone would like a copy of this document, we would be happy to provide them to you free of charge.

There are several issues that will be discussed and hopefully acted on in the General Assembly and Congress in the next few weeks but the cloud that hangs over our future is the financial cliff that is on the news everyday. Farmers could be affected negatively if nothing is done about the estate tax provision that will expire on Jan. 1.

We have been asking members to call their Senators and Representative to ask them to support the present position at the $5 million level rather than at $1 million. If you made a call, please let us know so that we can report to the IAA.

Ironically, all that we hear about is that offers have been made to increase revenue (tax increases) but no one is talking about spending reductions. Sixty-five percent of the federal budget is obligated to entitlements and that is where we must start to solve this problem.

The President is asking for increased revenue and increased spending not spending cuts. My calculator will not compute that into a more balanced budget. We are headed to a cliff whether it is the first of the year or at some later date.

We now have a debt that is greater than our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). What that means in terms of the common man is that you owe more than you produce in one year. What you produce does not equal or exceed your profit. Some people say that there is no concern about the debt problem and most of the rhetoric is simply to frighten the public. As a common man, I do not need a very sharp pencil to understand this dilemma.

We need to pray that common sense would pervade our halls of the Capital buildings and that old-fashioned economics would become the common sense of the day.

Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help, let us know.

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