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

On the Farm

September 29 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—  

Down on the farm in Illinois – that’s where I am.  I’m on the telephone today. 

What an exciting, rewarding harvest this is.  I have never seen better corn and soybeans.  Yields are off the chart.…

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Equal Justice

September 22 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—  

We keep reading about foreign countries – especially Russia – hacking into our E-mails, embarrassing the Democratic National Committee.  E-mails have caused concern that Russia will try to influence…

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Debt

September 15 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, andallies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Elections are coming up in November – candidates for President, Senate, House, and offices in states and cities are telling us that they will revive the economy, provide security, on and on. What you don’t…

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Death Taxes

September 8 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 haven’t talked about today’s subject for awhile, but that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten about it.  I’m talking about the estate tax, or death tax as it is commonly referred to.  One hundred…

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Labor Day and Tough Times

September 1 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—

My agenda for today will be Labor Day and Tough Times. I want to begin by saying how much respect I have for the hard-working men and women that labor in the trenches day in and day out. I’m not talking about…

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Farm Problems

August 25 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—  

We are looking at record crops of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year.  Dairy farmers are suffering with the lowest prices since 2009.  We have too much milk – not just here in the U.S. but in Europe…

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Trump and Agriculture

August 18 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 has been an interesting and politically active week – especially for agriculture.  On Monday, the CEO Council met with Sam Clovis, National Chief Policy Advisor for Donald Trump’s campaign, and…

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GMO Labeling

August 11 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Com 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 —

Yes — We now have legislation to deal with the GMO labeling question.

Without the legislation all the states could have required different labels on their food products. A patchwork national plan like that would…

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Our Budget

August 4 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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary -  

The Democratic and Republican Conventions are behind us.  Speakers talked about jobs, the economy, National Defense, immigration, and terrorism. All important and serious challenges. What they did not talk…

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Donald Trump

July 28 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—

How is Donald Trump doing? Where does he stand on policy that could affect us? I have been hearing for a year now that there is no way Trump could become President. Well – SURPRISE! He has shot up 10 points in…

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