Tough Decisions—Where Is the Courage?

May 19, 2011

May 19, 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—

There are more questions than answers right now. We have tight grain and oil seed supplies, not just in the U.S., but worldwide. We need a big crop this year, but the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating. The U.S. government is worse than broke, but we keep spending money as if we really have it to spend. Our system is structured so that our political representatives are afraid to cut back on spending because that’s how they buy votes. They won’t get elected if they stop handing out the candy.

Listen to the voters whine – “I want my money. I am entitled.”

Well, on that issue, let’s hope the common sense Members of Congress have the courage to stand up to the babies that are whining and insist upon absolute strict requirements to cut spending when they lift the debt ceiling.

Look at it this way – take Fred the farmer. What if he had a gross annual income of $60,000. But he spent $100,000. His banker would say, “No more money for you, Fred.”

We need to take some bold steps. With crop production in question, I would support releasing some acres out of our Conservation Reserve. Not going to happen this spring. It’s too late. Maybe next fall.

On trade – the White House is refusing to submit the trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama for approval unless Republicans agree to support trade assistance to those that might lose their jobs because of foreign competition. Ridiculous – we don’t have the money. It would cost 800 million dollars that we don’t have. That’s just another entitlement. Our government promotes dependency. What about selfreliance?

Now that we’re on this subject, let’s turn the page to the next farm bill. Farm supports are under assault and they need to be cut back. I know how uncertain the farming business can be. Just look at the flooding and draught farmers face right now. However, we don’t have the money to keep handing it out anymore.

It has to be scaled back, and it will be. I ask you, the voters, to keep your eye on the Members of Congress and the President. Are they courageous and bold, doing the right thing for our country, or are they a bunch of wimps?

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.