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Farmers boost the economy

Monday, December 6, 2010

Once again American farmers have come through to help our economic situation. Agriculture is booming even as the broader economy struggles to recover from the recession.

The USDA says farmers are expected to produce the third-largest corn crop and yield-per-acre on record. At the same time prices are rising.

While we need to be cautious that these rising prices do not detrimentally impact the livestock industry, we also must not fall into the false choice of food versus fuel that happened back in 2008.

Food Versus Fuel

Since then, countless academic, economic and government studies have disproven the food vs. fuel myth.

Despite the facts that there is no substantial link between ethanol production and grocery prices, there are those who will use the USDA report to stoke illegitimate fears that demand for corn ethanol will somehow drive up food prices.

Ethanol's opponents are also trying to use the recent bump in commodity prices to prevent renewal of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, commonly referred to as the blender's credit, which is set to expire at the end of the year.

If those critics succeed in cutting ethanol subsidies it would be a terrible mistake that would harm the industry at a time when it's helping our economy and reducing oil consumption in the U.S.

A proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee would only extend the ethanol tax credit for one-year and at a reduced rate, from 45 cents to 36 cents per gallon.

We need to continue the present tax credit which is why I am a sponsor of S. 3231, the GREEN Jobs Act of 2010 which would extend the current tax credit for another five years.

Continue Current Tax Credit

If this tax credit expires it would have a negative impact on Nebraska and our 25 production plants which makes us the second largest ethanol producing state in the nation. Studies show that expiration of the credit would ripple throughout Nebraska resulting in the loss of more than 13,700 jobs. Nationally, the job loss would total more than 100,000 and reduce ethanol production by nearly 40 percent.

Bipartisan efforts are underway to try and prevent the credit from expiring. I've joined with other senators in sending a letter to Senate leaders urging action this year on legislation to extend renewable fuel tax and tariff provisions.

I'll continue fighting to keep the credit. If it expires it will be a harsh blow to the economy, national security, the environment and America's efforts to become energy independent.

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Time to get rid of the farm subsidies so we can balance the budget. Thanks to farm subsidies Red Willow county is a debtor county - the residents receive more from the federal government than they pay in. That has to stop.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Mon, Dec 6, 2010, at 4:51 PM

What has to stop if the frivolous government spending NOT on job creation but "Project Fabrication" The whole: Get the economy jump started by pouring money into projects that only huge construction companies can handle, and then have not two or three generally local huge construction companies bid on these projects at break even bids so no one really makes any money, but how about 10 to 12 companies from out of state and even out of the region bid on them only to find out that they can't really do it for the cut throat prices they said they could, only to downsize the crew to get it done within budget.... theory. Now that was a mouthful and the grammar is ridiculous yet it would seem no less ridiculous than the "getter going" programs out there. If the subsidies are doing a similar thing so far as keeping economy going then so be it... at least it's truly going into local pockets, and HEY... local economy.... and HEY, it keeps the local farms going which feeds NOT just local folks (both nutritionally AND economically) but nationally and... yep Globally. They'll be here tomorrow to buy trucks, groceries, utilities, pay taxes and the list goes on. Where are those Huge Construction Companies when the "Stimulus Projects" are over? Not paying taxes in MY school district I assure you. How about let the farmers get ahead for a change rather than chasing their profits to Wall Street. Everyone needs a stellar year from time to time.

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Mon, Dec 6, 2010, at 10:42 PM

I think the election mandate was clear - if a business cannot operate without government subsidies then it should not operate. It is time to dismantle the Department of Agriculture and stop subsidizing the same farm operations year after year when they cannot demonstrate a profitable operation without government handouts.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Tue, Dec 7, 2010, at 2:22 PM


Do you realize how much $ is brought into our area due to farming or are you one of those guys that think the farmers cattle get in the way of hunting and that the ONLY reason lakes exsist is for the pleasure of water sport?

Let's also keep in mind that Americas #1 export IS ag product. Also the government has hendered Corporate Farming so if corporations or big business farming operations arnt allowed and the family run farms go out of business then you had better hope that your hunting skills are good, as America will go hungry in a hurry.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Tue, Dec 7, 2010, at 4:27 PM

I am sure the ag business would continue if the subsidies were removed. Who said anything about not growing ag products? What I am against is keeping all the poor performers in business when they should be working in factories or elsewhere because they are not competitive. Is this area proud that they rely on federal welfare to keep their economy going. Why should others in the US pay taxes so Joe unproductive Farmer can buy new equipment or a car? End the charade. Let the market work! Let prices self adjust instead of promoting a socialist government run economy.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Tue, Dec 7, 2010, at 4:47 PM

Further, any future Tea Party or Republican candidate running for office should return any government farm subsidy monies before filing to run for office. They should also vow to work to remove all payments from this socialistic bureaucratic and wasteful program. People in Southwest Nebraska are demanding government reforms and they must start now. Social security and Medicare are non-starters but the Department of Agriculture should be a prime target for budget reform. Their only role should be to manitain and negotiate new markets for which to sell products.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Wed, Dec 8, 2010, at 3:07 PM

Dang Buff..... For being so against the government programs.... you sure sound like a politician to me. You might toss in some pork barrel spending and earmarked tax funds talk and BAM... you yourself could be in the running for a political seat. I'm just saying that the money spent on keeping farms a-float is better than some other bottomless cups it's thrown into all for the cause of not having a job at all, and striving to keep it that way.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 1:39 PM

what you have wrote make sense especially in the present status quo. What really appeals to me is the word you use "immigrants". In the contemporary age, the word has been use and misused. take for example the issue of Dream Act Bill. If we will give care/consideration to young immigrants we may help them so as they can help our economy in further recession. With an election that came down almost entirely on party lines, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. I found this here: Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act vote offers citizenship for service or schooling Young adults who came into the country as children are given an option with the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act; creates a "path to citizenship". The U.S. Senate might very well filibuster the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

-- Posted by rchsmth on Tue, Dec 14, 2010, at 1:44 AM

I am againtst all forms of welfare and farm subsidies fall ionto that category. Please show me in the constitution where it says the fed is responsible for this? Liberals wil of course point to the innerstate commerce clause the most abused clause ever founf in the document and I am sure not what the framers intended. Department of Ag, Department of energy, privatization of SS and on and on and on those are just ther tip of the iceberg but a good place to start cutting.

The dream act is just backdoor amnesty. As soon as these poor unfortunate waifs gain citizenship then they petition to bring the entire extended family to the US. I may support something like this but only coupled with sealing the border and going after illegals and the companies that hire them.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Tue, Dec 14, 2010, at 9:44 AM

"I'm just saying that the money spent on keeping farms a-float is better than some other bottomless cups it's thrown into all for the cause of not having a job at all, and striving to keep it that way."

Oh Mercy, farmers have been drinking the government Kool-aid for so long they have convinced themselves that they are not serfs of the government. Tell me, do you think those folks who pay taxes for the pleasure to give it to the local farmers feel it is better than paying their own bills. What is being shown for this spending: rising food prices and farms in operation that perhaps shouldn't be in operation. Farmers in SW Nebraska and elsewhere are no different than AIG, General Motors and the banking industry in terms of receiving bailout money. The only difference is it has been in place for too many years and has fallen under the radar and needs to be addressed as all government spending needs to be addressed.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Tue, Dec 14, 2010, at 12:24 PM

@Chaco1 Make hiring illegal immigrants a felony. Simple as that, with this one simple change you will see illegal immigration dry up almost overnight I would guess.

-- Posted by Damu on Sun, Dec 19, 2010, at 4:00 PM

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