Fiscal Cliff Looming for Budget Cuts to Ag
American Farm Bureau Deputy Executive Director Dale Moore says the country’s leaders need to work together to avert the fiscal cliff of automatic budget cuts and tax hikes in January.
Moore complains there is just too much uncertainty. Farmers and ranchers don’t know what’s going to happen to their taxes or their programs…
“Most farmers and ranchers, like most Americans, want to see congress and the President work together to get these issues resolved and not perpetuate a climate of uncertainty.”
On everything – Moore says – from estate and capital gains tax rates to cuts to commodity, conservation, ag research, food safety and more.
Moore argues for a deal in a post-election lame duck session instead of kicking the can down the road again – even if there is a new President in January…
“We can see a scenario where a new President coming in might want to urge congress to get it resolved, get it off the table and cleaned up before the new administration comes in.”
Moore also urges getting a new farm bill done ahead of either automatic budget cuts or negotiated ones that would further reduce dollars available next year for a bill. He says shifting cuts from defense to domestic programs could mean new problems for agriculture…
“If some of those defense cuts are shifted to other domestic programs, its very likely that agriculture will be asked to shoulder an additional portion of that burden to get the deficit target reduction target met.”
The Senate-passed farm bill imposed 23-billion in new USDA cuts. The House Ag Committee added another 10-billion to that – on top of earlier cuts to programs like crop insurance.