Government Spending

Health Care Reform

July 30 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Health Care Reform and Cap and Trade seem to be the only issues in the spotlight here in this town. Maybe that’s appropriate. It looks like the legislation now on…

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President Bush’s Stimulus Plan

January 21 2003

Give it to them and they will spend it. Take it away from them and they may exercise a little more spending restraint. At least that's what we could hope. Yes, the President's Economic Stimulus Plan may help to stimulate our economy. I hope it does. Ifit passes. But if you are listening, you can hear the criticism of the plan loud and strong.

Now, why would that be? They say they are afraid the deficit will increase. That it provides too much tax relief to the so-called rich. How about…

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Food Safety

November 13 2001

Things are happening on the farm and food front. A furious and confusing farm bill debate rages in the Senate. A completed bill for the President to sign still seems unlikely this year. When will Congress complete the appropriations bill for the President to sign? That is one thing they have to finish before adjourning. I think they'll still be here working into December.

Trade promotion authority according to House Speaker Denny Hastert is coming to a vote. We have an ongoing debate…

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PIK Program

September 13 2000

Say it isn't so! Not the PIK program again. Yes, that's what it is. This time for sugar. I really thought PIK (payment in kind) was history. But I guess not. We have too much sugar and with the loan rate where it is, it appears the sugar processors are going to forfeit at least 500,000 tons of sugar to the government. Secretary Glickman does not want the sugar. He already owns 125,000 tons. The sugar beet farmers are about to harvest another big crop. I introduce you to payment in kind.…

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Federal Budget Surplus

July 4 2000

President Clinton has been making a big thing out ofthe bulging budget surplus. Vice President Gore has been trying to take credit for the surging economy. Members of Congress are talking about the windfall. It's like we just won the lottery. This is terrific. And after all of those years of budget deficits. But if indeed the federal government is going to have 4.2 trillion dollars more than needed to meet our obligation over the next 10 years, what should be done with the money?

That's…

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USDA Dollars

March 14 2000

Where does your money go? At USDA I believe that a lot of money is spent for a lot of good reasons. Farm support payments to help struggling farmers through tough times. Export funds to move our products into the international market place. Funding to care for our forests . Even food stamps to help needy families.

But I read an article last week that was shocking. According to the Inspector General, more than 20 million dollars of money at USDA that was designated to Natural Resources was…

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