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Commentary: John R. Block Reports from Washington

“Tough Times”

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 today’s commentary-

After Friday, September will be behind us. The U.S. government will enter a new fiscal year. Our federal government will close down if our Congress does not pass a Continuing Resolution to approve funding in the new fiscal year. If Congress can get it done to avoid a shut down, (and I think they will) they will probably only extend business until sometime in December. Then they will have to act again to get through the rest of fiscal year 2023.

This is not the way to run a good company and not the way to run our federal government. With politics the way they are now, we have to live with it. In just a little more than a month, the mid term elections will be held. That puts heavy pressure on House and Senate candidates. To pass the Continuing Resolution they need 60 Senate votes. At this point the two parties can’t agree on what should be in the plan. President Biden wants special funding for some of his priorities. That includes $11.7 billion for Ukraine. Republicans might support money for Ukraine but maybe not the rest.

President Biden has announced his priorities on hunger, nutrition and health. The White House Conference on Hunger this week gives an idea of what the President would like to do. But don’t get too excited because most of his priorities cannot be implemented without legislation. President Biden’s document is 44 pages with all kinds of ideas to deal with hunger and nutrition. Republicans have not been very happy about their inclusion in the conference planning. “To say that we have been left out in the cold is an understatement.” Hunger is a high priority problem. So good luck.

With inflation, the cost of food has soared almost 13% in the last year. I’m looking at a recent chart. The price of eggs is up 39.8%, butter up 24.6%, milk, chicken, bread, cereals – all up more than 16%. If we add up all groceries, they are up 13.5%. We know there are good solid reasons for this jump. The costs of fertilizer to grow the grain and soybeans has more than doubled. We have to feed our hogs, cows, and chickens, and that feed is more expensive. I think that the effort to hammer down inflation by raising interest rates will work. It worked before under Reagan’s Presidency. But it will take time and our economy will suffer.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to www.johnblockreports.com.

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