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4 March 2012 - Congress Needs to Act!

Is there anybody out there who doesn’t realize this is a Presidential election year in the United States? I guess it is impossible not to be aware of that with all of the Republican candidate debates, the rhetoric, the attacks on the opposing candidates, promises made that we know cannot be kept.

So while we watch the song and dance act of both the Republicans and Democrats, there are some serious challenges because it is an election year. Every member of the House will be spending a lot of time back home running for re-election, many of the Senators will be doing the same, and it all means that some very important legislation simply will not happen this year on Capitol Hill.

Members of Congress running for re-election will want to stay far away from dealing with any controversial legislation that might cost them precious votes in the home district.

There are several important issues for American agriculture that need attention. One of them has been put at the top of the list of concerns by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and that is the Inheritance Tax. If Congress takes no action by December 31st, the inheritance tax rate will go back to the bloated levels prior to the past ten years. It is extremely important that Congress do something to lower the level of taxation in what I call the ‘death tax’. If Congress does nothing, then look out if you own a farm or ranch or a small business.

Another issue that is critically important to American agriculture is the need to re-write immigration laws to allow migrant labor to more easily enter the United States to do the work at harvest time. We have seen too many crops rot in the field because current laws make it impossible to get workers across the border to harvest those crops in a timely fashion. My bet is that new immigration legislation will not see the light of day this year.

Will we even get a Farm Bill written by the end of the year or will campaign distractions force the extension of the current bill to the next session of Congress?

So while the campaign continues, let’s remind our members of Congress we elected them in the first place to deal with serious legislation and if they do that, we may vote for them again.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.