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Former Ag Secretary John Block –

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

And now for today’s commentary—

We are about 10 days away from the election. Most of the focus has been on the Presidential race. However, let’s not forget that there are 3 branches of government. We have the Executive – that’s the President; we have the legislative – the Congress; and the judicial – our judges. Who ever gets elected as President likely will have a chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, assuming one of the current justices should retire over the next 4 years.

The President has a lot of power. He can help to shape the court consistent with his philosophy. He can veto legislation coming out of the Congress if he doesn’t like it. Through his leadership, he can help point the country in his preferred direction. Finally, he is “Commander in Chief” and can use our military to protect the country. He can not declare war. That’s up to Congress. With all the focus on the President, we tend to ignore the importance of the Congress.

The Congress passes legislation to address issues of the day. The Congress appropriates money to build roads, provide food stamps, school lunches, support our military, money for everything.

Since the Congress is responsible for approving all the spending, you might think they would prepare and approve a budget. The Republican House of Representatives did. The Democrat-led Senate has not passed a budget in 3 years. How irresponsible is that?
With that as background, here is what I predict in this election:

1. With 435 House seats up, the Democrats would have to take 25 seats away from Republicans to regain control. That won’t happen. They might flip 8 or 10. The House remains Republican.

2. Republicans will add some seats in the Senate but will not be able to get a majority.

3. A month ago, it appeared to me that President Obama would hold on to win the Presidency. I’ve changed my mind. I won’t bet the farm on it, but I give the nod to Mitt Romney.

Farm programs under a Romney Presidency won’t look much different than under Obama. Romney, however, will support more relief from the death tax for farmers and small businesses. Romney will put the brakes on the EPA rush to regulate everything. A Romney Presidency will have more courage to deal with our serious debt problem.

Stay tuned until next week.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.