April 24, 2014

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Editorial
Final Farm Bill reverses reform PDF Print
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:07 PM

BY TRACI BRUCKNER

Center for Rural Affairs

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On Feb. 7, President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill into law in East Lansing, Mich.

The Center for Rural Affairs opposed the final Farm Bill that came out of the Conference Committee because the conference report stripped out bipartisan reforms, which passed both House and Senate, and would have tightened the definition of being “actively engaged” in farming. The current definition has been a loophole that mega-farms use to gain additional payments by defining passive investors as qualified farmers, even though those investors provide no real labor or management on the farm.

Not only did the Conference Committee leaders actually increase farm payment limits from $50,000 to $125,000 for the primary commodity program, they turned aside real reform passed in both House and Senate, to essentially create a commodity program that will provide unlimited payments to mega-farms, no matter how large they get, as long as payments flow to family members.

Conference Committee leaders have tried to lay claim to the mantle of reform. However, this Farm Bill will continue to provide virtually unlimited farm program payments to the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms, which they will use to bid up land costs, drive their smaller neighbors out of business and bar the next generation of farmers from even gaining a foothold in farming. This is not reform, this is smoke and mirrors. We can, we must do better than this.

 
Practice what you preach, Mr. President PDF Print
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

WASHINGTON — President Obama gave a lovely speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast — and one is reluctant to criticize.

But pry my jaw from the floorboards.

Without a hint of irony, the president lamented eroding protections of religious liberty around the world.

Just not, apparently, in America.

 
Working together and fighting for the middle class PDF Print
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

BY US SENATOR SHERROD BROWN

 

Middle-class Ohioans have always worked hard and taken responsibility. But for too long, Ohioans have been working harder than ever and barely getting by. In last week’s State of the Union address, the president laid out a plan to grow our economy by growing the middle class. By calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, extend emergency unemployment insurance, train workers for high-growth industries, and pass my bipartisan bill to create a network of manufacturing innovation hubs, the State of the Union address helped focus our attention on what matters: keeping America strong and vibrant for the next generation. And that starts with shoring up the middle class, the foundation on which America’s economic might stands.

 
Turning the president’s words into a year of action PDF Print
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

BY US SENATOR ROB PORTMAN

 

In last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama talked about a year of action to restore an opportunity society, one where every American can pursue his or her dreams. I couldn’t agree more with the goal, but I disagree with most of the President’s ideas about how to get there. We have tried the top down approach of more government, more regulations, more spending and record debt, and it hasn’t worked.

 
Uncle Sugar goes to town PDF Print
Saturday, January 25, 2014 9:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- We know what Mike Huckabee meant. Sort of. Kind of. But, really?

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate, talk-show host and erstwhile Baptist preacher, was trying to demythologize the alleged Republican “war on women” so brilliantly defined by Democrats in 2012.

Speaking at the Republican National Committee winter meeting Thursday, Huckabee said it was time to “no longer accept listening to the Democrats talk about a war on women.” Republicans aren’t waging a war on women, he said. “They have a war for women.”

The alleged war on women was based essentially on the notion that people who think abortion is a bad idea -- or who don’t think the government should mandate insurance coverage for birth-control coverage -- are anti-woman. Democrats point mainly to new state laws that have limited access to abortion, not to mention the unforgettable observations of a few Republican men about “legitimate” rape and so on.

Last Updated on Friday, January 24, 2014 9:45 PM
 
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