Rural America the biggest loser as fiscal cliff looms

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Fiscal Cliff The odds of avoiding a “fiscal cliff” by the end of the year are quickly diminishing, and rural Americans would likely be among the biggest losers affected by the predicament. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) economist Matt Erickson points out the possible ramifications nearing for rural Americans and consumers.

“From agriculture’s perspective, three things that we need to look at: the estate tax policy, capital gains tax policy and farm bill or agricultural program spending in terms of being affected by this fiscal cliff,” Erickson said in an interview on AFBF’s Newsline.     

The automatic spending cuts will take place at the beginning of the year if Congress doesn’t act soon and would take away $1.2 trillion from federal programs over the next nine years. Many farm programs are on the list, affecting more than just farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.

“I think the loser of all of this is going to be rural America,” Erickson pointed out. “When we look at farm bill program spending, it’s not just about crop insurance, it’s not just about commodity programs, but it’s also about rural America, rural development and economic programs, also about food safety programs, agricultural research and Extension.”

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kansas  |  October, 31, 2012 at 08:41 AM

Political Change is the answer - Unified government: House, Senate & Presidency driven by a grass-roots movement to hold representatives feet to the fire. 4 more years of "the same", will result in 4 more years of the same. Toss Vilsack and crew out, and try something new. There is hope, if the population has the guts to vote for it and follow-up.

Minnesota  |  October, 31, 2012 at 04:39 PM

Are you saying that you want Republicans in office so that the spending cuts don't happen? That seems kind of strange to me.

Buffalo,N.Y.  |  October, 31, 2012 at 09:04 AM

Don't believe all that is written in these articles as most of these organizations AFBF, NMPF and others have ties to large corporate manufactures ( and can be lobbied by them) and not to farmers. They do and say what is best to make profits for large manufacturing business and if you are a cog in that wheel they will try to convince you that what is good for those business are good for you and that may not be the case.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  October, 31, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Chris, you listed two member controlled organizations. I'm sure that you subscribe to the conspiracy theories that average farmers don't belong to such groups because they are controlled by a few corporated farmers or mega-agribusinesses. So I'm curious which organizations you think farmers should join.

manhattan, ks.  |  October, 31, 2012 at 01:44 PM

I guess those big evil corporations don't need money from consumers to function right? Better yet you probalary believe those corporations are run by robots and not humans, and theyre all out to harm us? I fail to understand why people believe corporations are evil. I know many family farms/business's that incorporate for financial/liability reasons. Corporations are run by humans. Corporations can't function without money from selling goods/services to consumers. Its in their best interest to assure their consumers can afford the goods/services theyre selling, and they want to buy them. Corporations then make more goods/services, pay dividends, and wages to employees. Those wages support many families, including mine. My corporation pays me well, gives me good benefits and insurance, and a small bonus every year the company does well, theyre even helping pay for me to continue my education (im not even in a management position). How is that evil, malicious, or harmful to society?

manhattan, ks.  |  October, 31, 2012 at 06:00 PM

Daves- I would much rather take my chances with republicans then this group of democrats. President Bush at his worst was a better gamble then President Obama and his crew of liberals. Romney at least has work/business experience outside of community organizating and goverment jobs.

SD  |  November, 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM

It is quite clear many who believed in Pres. Obama are about to learn what the reality is all one who fears the unconstitutional actions already begun, and the many executive orders we haven't yet seen, it will be very hard for me not to at least feel like saying "I told you it would be bad!" when the Obama fans learn just how little income and assets one needs for this president to believe you are too "rich" and must "sacrifice" and share what you have earned with those who haven't worked as hard as you have to accumulate whatever you have.

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