On Sept. 12, hundreds of farmers and ag industry representatives assembled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to encourage passage of a new Farm Bill.
What does it say? What does it say when a rally has to be held in order to remind Congress to get things done?
The 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30 and a new Farm Bill will have to wait until after the Nov. 6 election. The delay creates uncertainty for farmers who have had to deal with drought, high feed costs and other critical issues this year. Dairy farmers, in particular, need policy reforms that have been passed by the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committee, but blocked from floor discussion in the House.
If there is something that Congress does well, it is punt or “kick the can down the road.”
After all, Congress is made up of politicians, and politicians don’t want to do any anything that will jeopardize their re-election chances. Forget what’s best for the country; the politicians’ reelection is what matters most.
I have mentioned to my wife on several occasions that we should just vote out everyone in Congress and start over — “drain the swamp,” so to speak. That would send a message to Congress that the people’s business comes first, not individual re-election bids.
Then, I start thinking, “Well, my congressman isn’t so bad. Maybe he should stay….”
Yet, my congressman made his own “waves” recently when it came out that he had gone skinny-dipping among congressional colleagues while on a fact-finding trip in Israel.
Those are the kinds of things — skinny-dipping and stupid remarks — that always get the most attention. I wish the news media would focus on the things that really count.
I was appalled during the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention that no one offered specific proposals for addressing high unemployment or the $16 trillion national debt. Instead, the emphasis was on style points — who “connected” with his audience or who showed his “human side.”
A bunch of crap!
Instead of which politician is the biggest “rock star” (and, yes, this includes you, Bill Clinton), we need people who will find solutions and get things done.
In agriculture, there are some dedicated politicians, notably Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D), who have tried to get a new Farm Bill passed. Unfortunately, there are others who are afraid of tackling the tough issues and alienating certain voting blocs ahead of November’s election.
Drain the swamp? That is probably too harsh. But politicians do need to be put on notice that they serve the people — not the other way around.