President Reagan’s Philosophy

August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011

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—

Last week, my family and I visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. A lot of memories came flowing back about my days serving as his Secretary of Agriculture. We lifted the Soviet grain embargo. The President was shot. He told Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” I presented my vision for the 1985 Farm Bill to the President and the Cabinet only to have David Stockman attack the Conservation Reserve Program. Those were challenging times too.

President Regan’s belief in smaller government with lower taxes, less regulation, and more personal responsibility seem to be a philosophy of government that we lost along the way.

Here we are today with more than 14 trillion dollars in debt without a plan to fix the problem. Standard & Poors has downgraded our credit rating. That has spooked the stock market. Our economy was already struggling to get back on track anyway. Politicians of both parties pointing fingers at each other to fix the blame on the other guy. Other countries are also speaking up.

China (our banker) issued a blistering attack in their state newspaper telling us to “cure our addition to debt.”

Our problem is not the downgrade. We deserved it. Our problem is the debt. When our government spends a dollar, we have to borrow 40 cents of that dollar because we really don’t have a dollar of our own money to spend. We can’t keep doing this.

The only solution is to spend less or tax more. It’s that simple. No more phony government games. We definitely need tax reform. Close some loopholes. Our Tax Code is so complicated no one can understand it. We can pick up some money there. It will not be nearly enough.

We need to get control of our runaway government spending. Pork barrel spending and bloated budgets are what put is in this situation. Our entitlement programs eat up 60 percent of our budget. They have to be cut. Military spending has to be on the chopping block.

Some government spending programs should be entirely done away with. President Reagan once said, “The nearest thing to eternal life that we will ever see on this earth is a government program.” Unfortunately, our government has made more promises than we can afford. We can’t afford to be a welfare state. Neither can Europe. They’re in trouble too.

We know that President Reagan cannot lead us now, but his philosophy can.

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.