Current Week

Two Issues

February 22, 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you. 

And now for today’s commentary— 

I have two issues to put forward today. They aren’t related, but we are going to have more discussion about each of them this year. 

President Trump tells us he will put forth a tax reform plan with tax cuts in the next two weeks. Speaker Paul Ryan also is advocating tax legislation, and one idea is a border adjustment tax that will tax imports and that will likely raise the cost of imported products. It will also raise a lot of money which we need if we are going to rebuild our infrastructure. 

A border tax will shake up trade relations; however, you can argue that it would be fair because it would treat all importers equally. Many other countries have a similar tax. Let’s keep our eye on the coming tax reform debate. It could have a huge impact. 

My other subject is the $71 billion food stamp program administered by the Department of Agriculture. The program eats up 70% of the ag budget. We spend more than twice what we spent when I was Secretary of Agriculture. There has always been concern about whether the food program is what it should be. Are we wasting money? 

Twenty percent of that money – over $14 billion – is spent on sweet beverages, snack food, candy, and sweet desserts. It is just helping to fatten the customers. Why is the government doing this? How do we correct the problem? One answer is to require the supermarket to become the food police. I’m not sure that is reasonable. It’s too costly and time-consuming. Can you imagine how long the line-up for the cashier could be? There isn’t any easy answer. 

Tongue in cheek, I have suggested that food stamp recipients be required to weigh in. If they weigh too much, maybe no food stamps or perhaps let them buy only fruits and vegetables. Just kidding. This whole issue will be debated when we write a new farm bill. 

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to www.johnblockreports.com. Have a great weekend. Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.

Previous Weeks

Trade Undersecretary

December 7 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

There is a lot of talk today abut the next farm bill.  What will be in it?  When will we get it done?  But I think the ag industry should remind the new Secretary of Agriculture when…

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Cuba and More

December 1 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

I want to review a few issues today as we plan our farming operation and look over the horizon at next year’s opportunities and challenges.  U.S. farm income this year is expected to…

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Thanksgiving

November 24 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

I’m not talking about politics or President-Elect Donald Trump today.  Let’s be thankful for our good fortune to be here in America this Thanksgiving weekend.  The celebration of Thanksgiving dates…

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Rural America Speaks Up

November 17 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

Now that the election is over, Democrats are trying to figure out what went wrong.  Not only will they lose the White House in January, they did not get control of the Senate and gained very little in the…

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Trump Wins

November 10 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

It’s a new day.  Donald Trump was elected President of the U.S.  Washington, D.C. is in shock.  It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.  Clinton was supposed to win. 

A year and a half ago, Donald…

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2016 Election Day Part II

November 2 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

This year’s election process has been wild and crazy.  Hard to imagine, but we will know the results on Tuesday.  Last week, Rick Frank delivered this radio program for me.  He said that he would vote…

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Election Day 2016 - The Need for a Balanced Government

October 27 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This is Rick Frank Sitting in for Jack Block.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day.  A free and fair election is what separates the U.S. from many of our toughest competitors – for example, China,…

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This and That

October 20 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

I will cover a list of issues today.  I am encouraged to note that Secretary Vilsack made a wise suggestion to the House and Senate Ag Committees.  He said they should change the “Farm Bill’s” name.…

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Ag Industry United

October 13 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

In these times of low farm prices, it is encouraging to see farm associations and leaders stepping up to protect our farmers and ranchers. 

The CEOs of CropLife America, the National Corn Growers…

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Cuba

October 6 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

Farm income is collapsing.  Livestock and grain prices are in the tank.  What to do now?  Of course, we have to persevere and ride this recession out. 

There are some common sense things that could help a…

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