Current Week

Tax Reform

November 9, 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the Renewable Fuels 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—

Tax reform is a hot topic here in the nation’s capital. That doesn’t mean that Congress will be able to pass the legislation. On paper, the planned tax overhaul will increase the national debt by $1.5 trillion (over the next ten years).

Larry Summers, who served as economic advisor to President Obama, argues that there is no rationale for adding to our debt. President Reagan’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Martin Feldstein, is 100% behind the Republican tax reform bill. He had this to say: “The most important reform is to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% (the highest among industrial countries) to 20%.” I agree. We have to compete with other countries. Our big corporations will move to Ireland or some other nation with a very low rate. We already have companies such as Apple with trillions of dollars sitting in other countries. They are not going to bring that money home unless we have a more competitive rate.

The new tax plan brings down the tax rate for individuals except for those that make more than $1 million. Individuals earning less than $24,000 will not pay any taxes. There will be a limit of $500,000 mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes. The housing industry is complaining about dropping the deduction down from $1 million to $500,000. Why should we allow the rich to write off interest paid on a $2 million home or maybe two or three expensive homes?

On the plus side, small businesses will be allowed to deduct interest on business loans. That is appropriate. Farms borrow a lot of money for seed, fertilizer, and crop protection. Those are legitimate business expenses.

Small businesses are also excited that the “death tax” may be about to breathe its last. Assets exempt from the tax will double and after six years the tax will be gone.

There will be a limit of $10,000 of state and property taxes that can be deducted. Farmers and ranchers that own a lot of property pay a lot of property tax. That tax has always been an acceptable write-off. This provision could be costly to some.

Our Tax Code is too complex. Loopholes need to be closed and the Code needs to be simplified. Tax cuts should strengthen the economy and create jobs. The tax reform process is just starting. It could change. It could fail. I hope we get it done.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.

Previous Weeks

Slow Process

April 6 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—

President Trump took his oath of office with a priority list of actions he wanted to take in his first 100 days. It has not been easy. In the first place, I don’t think his team had prepared enough to move…

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Unsustainable Debt

March 30 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 am out of town today and speak to you by telephone. We all know that President Trump has an ambitious agenda. One of those projects is to balance our budget. Our rising debt is frightening. It has hit a…

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Trump’s Budget

March 23 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—

All the talk in this town is about the Donald Trump Budget. Defense hawks say the $54B increase in defense spending is not enough. Liberals cry that the long list of cuts in spending on many non-defense…

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Farm Economy

March 15 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 was back on the farm in Illinois last week. I’m glad to report that the pigs are healthy and happy, and we are ready to start planting next month. Some farms are not as fortunate.

Wild fires have burned…

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Organic Foods

March 9 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—

Before focusing on today’s ag issue, I want to pay tribute to Clayton Yeutter. Clayton passed away Saturday, March 4 – age 86 – having served as U.S. Trade Ambassador and Secretary of Agriculture for…

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Trump Speaks

March 1 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—

President Trump’s first major address to a joint session of Congress got a lot of attention. He told us what he is going to do. He reminded us what he has already done. He worked to sell his vision for the…

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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…

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Controversy is Good

February 15 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— 

The headlines in the papers and on the evening highlights: “White House in Crisis” and “Conflicts Between Trump Appointees.” Yes – for anyone following the new President and Republican Congress’s…

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Regulations

February 9 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—

President Trump is aggressively working to relieve the heavy burden of excessive regulations imposed on businesses in recent years. Remember what President Reagan said about regulations: “A government…

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Trade

February 2 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 want to focus on trade today. From agriculture’s perspective, it is extremely important. 25% of ag income comes from products sold to other countries. Production from 1 out of every 3 acres is exported.…

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