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.

Franklin County Farm Bureau news

By Larry J. Miller

Now that the dust has settled, we can see more clearly what the future will hold for taxpayers in the days ahead. Therefore, here is how I see the future and how it will affect farmers and taxpayers.

On the federal level, with the re-election of President Obama and to solve the financial crisis that both Democrats and Republicans have created, our taxes will be going up! And I am not saying just for the rich people but for everyone who makes money and files a tax return.

Government spending will not decrease but we will pay more to finance a bloated federal budget. This will cause the growth of the economy to decrease in the long term and reduce the income of the government because of lower employment caused by higher taxes. And we still do not know the total affect of the new health care program, which by the way; will cost the common man more taxes for premiums.

We still do not have a farm bill which leaves us wondering about issues that will affect us into the next crop year.

On the state level, we are basically in the same situation. Income taxes were increased by 66 percent, but the budget is still not balanced and there is no hope that it will change at all very soon, all the while jobs are leaving the state compounding the problem. Pension problems, which the state created by not making pension payments because of budget shortfalls, will be sent back to local taxing districts and the only recourse that local districts will have is to increase property tax. Guess who pays for that?

Locally, unemployment will increase because of increased environment regulations on coal emissions which will limit the expansion of coal mines.

In Franklin County, we have three functioning 911 services which cost us three times what it should. We will continue to employ nine school superintendents because we will not accept school consolidation.

Yes, all of the above looks very gloomy but we must hold our elected officials to a higher standard and demand change. They work for us!

You may want to put this prognostication in a place to remember and tell me if I was right or wrong in a few months.

This is just a reminder that our County Annual Meeting is on Monday, Nov. 26 at the Benton Civic Center. Registration begins at 5 and the meal will be served at 6:15. If you would like to make reservations please call our office by Monday, Nov. 19 at (618) 435-3616.

If you would like to order fruit this year you must order by Tuesday, Nov. 27th. You can order oranges, grapefruit and tangelos – 4/5 bushel – $25.00 & 2/5 bushel – $15.00.

We have pecans in our office now – one pound bags of shelled pecan halves for $9.00. We also have about 20 bags 12 oz bags of chocolate covered pecans halves in – $9.00 each. Call (618) 435-3616.

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

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