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28 Aug 2011 - Washington, Back Off!

I think most of us will agree that regulation in life is necessary; but over-regulation, NO, particularly in the world of agriculture.

Over-regulation is a term I have been hearing a lot more over the last few weeks. Just this week, in the office of the Chairman of the CME Group, parent of the Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange, I heard Terry Duffy talk about government over-regulation, not allowing the markets to do what they do, price discovery of commodities and stocks.

I certainly heard about over-regulation in many of the e-mails I received from farmers who were very upset about some of the remarks made by President Obama during his tour of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Some of the headlines following that visit, “Obama Midwest Tour Misinforms Farmers and Ranchers”; “President Obama Calls Fear of Over-Regulation ‘Unfounded’”. When a farmer in Illinois stood up to ask a question about over- regulation, the President said “Don’t believe everything you hear” and he blamed lobbyists for getting “all ginned up”.

Steve Foglesong, an Illinois cattleman and Immediate Past President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, did not hold back in expressing his thoughts that were very similar to many of those in the farmer e-mails I received. He said “The fact is, this administration is intent on stifling free enterprise by allowing agencies in this administration to propose regulation after regulation without any analysis on the impact on jobs in this country. The president is out of touch with rural America.”

He went on to say “Either the president has no clue what regulations his bureaucratic agencies are proposing or he simply doesn’t care. Burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded regulations do not create jobs. I was naive to think a tour in rural America might make a difference.”

Yes, over-regulation impacts the lives of all of us, particularly farmers and ranchers, and it could greatly restrict their ability to put food on the world’s dinner tables. Washington, it is time for common sense and time to back off!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.