Hot Issues 2016

July 21, 2016

July 21, 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—  

A lot to talk about and not much time.  Here we go.  

As a Republican, I tell you that Donald Trump is officially our Presidential candidate and Gov. Mike Pence is the Vice Presidential running mate.  You have heard a lot about Trump, so I want to focus on Pence.  He is a Conservative with a capital C.  As Governor of Indiana, he has balanced the budget and, as a Congressman for 12 years, he fought for spending cuts and opposed deficit budgets.  He fought to get rid of earmarks which helped to buy votes but just spend more money.  He did not want to expand social programs.  

Gov. Pence said, “I support free trade and so does Trump.  Trump just says he can negotiate better trade deals.”  

Let’s turn to the GMO labeling legislation.  We have been more than two years trying to get new legislation.  It became necessary when Vermont passed its own law.  Other states were ready to do the same.  We can’t afford a patchwork of different labeling laws.  Processors would have to label their products differently in every state.  Consumers would pay the price.  Last summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation giving companies the option of voluntarily labeling GMO foods.  For over a year, the Senate struggled to fix the problem.  The votes were never there to support the House bill.  Finally, the Senate passed a compromise bill.  Their legislation requires the food manufacturer to use a written GMO label, a symbol, or digital link – different options.  Meat and dairy products do not have to be labeled even if they are fed GMO feed.  

The House gave up on their bill and passed the Senate compromise last week.  President Obama will sign it. The Department of Agriculture now has two years to implement the legislation.  This was a big victory for the food and ag industries and consumers.  

Last issue – here is my take on the escalating conflict between our police and “Black Lives Matter.”  The killings we have seen are shocking.  Here is one suggestion that I have.  Both black and white leaders should support this.  If a policeman stops you, do exactly what he says.  If he says raise your hands, do it.  If you start to run and he says stop, you must stop.  Don’t talk back to the policeman.  I learned this in the military and at West Point.  If confronted by authority, you answer “yes sir,” “no sir,” “no excuse sir.”  Follow orders.  Then, you are probably not going to get shot.  Policing our streets is a dangerous job and we need to give our brave police officers proper respect and support.  

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to  Have a great weekend.    Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.