It’s a Deal

December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010

 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—

The lame ducks may not prove to be as lame as I thought. President Obama and the Republicans have struck a deal. It is a pretty big deal. Bush tax cuts to be extended for two years, a payroll tax cut of 2%, and unemployment benefits in force for another 13 months. And last but not least, the estate tax that was scheduled to rocket to 55% on January 1 will only go to 35% with a 5 million dollar exemption.

We need to understand this is a deal struck between the President and Republican leadership. As I prepare this radio program, it is not a done deal. It must be approved by the Congress and some Members don’t like it very much. Some hate it. Liberal Democrats don’t want tax cuts extended for the so-called “rich,” and they are adamantly opposed to the death tax deal. I still think it will pass. No one has much of an appetite for allowing everyone’s taxes to spike up January 1. On the positive side, this plan should stimulate the economy, and on the negative side, it will cost a lot of money.

I expect most Republicans to vote in support of the deal along with some moderate Democrats. If it does pass, the lame ducks will have something to quack about.

I think President Obama has earned a compliment for his courage and leadership in standing up against the extreme left. Instead of just waiting for the Congress to try to work out a deal, he has shown some leadership. That’s what Presidents need to do.

On another hot issue, the President has finally completed the new South Korean trade agreement, I see this as another example of the President taking charge to get something done.

Perhaps the Republican sweep in the November elections got his attention. Hopefully, we can now look forward to more bipartisan action.

So, what’s next? This lame duck session may not do much more. They probably will try to pass the U.S.-Russian Start Treaty and the rest will be handed over to the new Congress next year. That’s fine with me.

The new Congress will have a very difficult political job. Have you ever tried to shut off a valve on a water line gushing water out like a fire hose? And you can’t turn it off because the valve is all corroded. It just won’t turn. Well, the new Congress will find it almost impossible to turn the valve and cut off the money gushing out at an alarming rate. And yet, they must do it. We’ll save that issue for another day.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to .

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.