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Election Over–Can we work together?

Election Over–Can we work together?

By Gene Hall

President Obama has won re-election. Congratulations, Mr. President. On my Facebook page the past few days, I’ve been asking for some guidance, suggestions on how we might work together as a nation. This is the result.

Obviously some folks are still taking this hard, and winners gloat sometimes, especially in cyberspace. Fair enough, but we had better start thinking about how we can work together, and we are about out of time. I voted for the other guy, and I recognize the need for compromise. Part of that is supporting the president on some of what he wants and expecting to get something in return.

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What is it about the Farm Bill that is so darned difficult?

What is it about the Farm Bill that is so darned difficult?

By Kenneth Dierschke

Everyone in agriculture knew there would be substantial cuts in the new Farm Bill. Most agricultural organizations had signaled that a “proportional cut” would be acceptable. We’ve realized that preserving the most essential element of the legislation—crop insurance—would be a realistic goal.

 Toward that end, the House Agriculture Committee had been working with what farmers believe is a realistic number–$23 billion in cuts to the commodity title of the farm program. Recently, the House Budget Committee threw out a new and completely unrealistic number of $30 billion in cuts. This is not a proportional number and it’s hard to imagine how we can come up with a workable crop insurance program within that budget framework.

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New regulations could threaten farm transportation

New regulations could threaten farm transportation

By Dane and Robin Sanders

This morning at breakfast, our son informed us that he couldn’t wait until harvest time so that he could go with me to help tarp cotton modules and clean up around the module builders. Robin and I laughed knowing that those two jobs are definitely not the cleanest or most fun, but they all have to be done. It was nice hearing our son already wanting to help out on the farm and finding joy in hard work.

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Budget stalemate: Congress good at finger pointing

Steve Pringle, Texas Farm Bureau Legislative Director By Steve Pringle

It is becoming increasingly evident that nothing is going to happen in Washington this year but a lot of finger pointing. The stalemate is most evident in the budget challenge.

The president’s budget proposal fails to address any of the major problems that are causing our deficits (Medicare, Social Security and defense). His “freeze” on discretionary spending is viewed as unsatisfactory in addressing increasing problems. 

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Congressional inaction on tax rates high on farmer concern list

By Mike Barnett

As Congress continues to spin in the ruts of indecision and partisan politics, agriculture is left high center as tax rates high on the list of concerns as farmers and ranchers make plans for next year.

The administration has scheduled meetings with leaders of both parties this week to consider the direction of tax policy.

Especially important to farmers and ranchers is the fate of the estate tax, which is zero until Dec. 31 as Congress let the provision expire. However, if this important measure is left unattended, the estate tax will roar back next year with a $1 million exemption and a killing 55 percent tax rate.

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