John R. Block Reports from Washington — “Welfare Bill”

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

The Wall Street Journal opinion page reminds us that the $3.5 trillion “Cradle to the Grave” entitlement bill could transform America in 17 days.” President Biden and his allies are pushing it. Keep in mind it is not passed yet, and we can expect it to be cut back in scope. We now have some idea of the proposed tax changes. “As a share of GDP, it is the largest tax increase since 1968.” The top individual rate will go up from 37% to 39.6%.

My point of view is if we spend money, we need to pay for it. I’m not against getting more money from the very rich individuals and big corporations. However, I think it would damage our economy and be a big mistake to over tax small business. We want family businesses to be passed on to the next generation – not taxed out of business. The stepped-up basis that we have today makes that possible. It looks like the legislation will keep that in place. That’s good. However, they propose to cut the death tax exemption in half from $11 million to $5.5 million. That could wipe out a lot of farms and ranches. The whole gigantic spending bill is a redistribution of wealth, increase in regulations and more debt for our children and grandchildren.

Next subject- I was shocked to read this week how the price of electricity in Europe and the UK has exploded. The wind in the North Sea has quit blowing. No wind-no power. Gas prices and coal have surged. They need back up power when the wind wont blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Europe is importing gas and coal from Russia and the U.S. This just reminds us- don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Livestock producers in the U.S. have long been concerned about the highly concentrated meat packing sector. Seventy percent of the processing is done by 4 companies. It’s hard not to notice the big jump in the cost of beef, pork, and even chicken. Increased competition would be good for the industry and consumers.

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The views expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not necessarily those of sfntoday.com nor the Southern Farm Network.