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Beefs and Beliefs

Ag’s Costs Rising Again

Price of oil, fertilizer and government will rise until the American public chooses otherwise.

I was in western Oklahoma Wednesday morning visiting with Robert Dearing about shinnery oak control and understandably our conversation turned to rising fertilizer and oil prices and to CRP and politics.

Dearing said something that really hit home with me and I’m sure it will with you.

He said, “I’ve been around long enough to know when they start cutting the (federal) budget agriculture gets more than its share because there aren’t very many of us.”

I’ve seen the same thing and it reminds me the politicians are still unwilling to do the right things, certainly not the hard things, and are looking out for their personal interests above all others.

But the time has come for the government to spend less. Federal spending has grown and grown and grown until it’s a monster and it must be slain.

So I have a solution to offer lawmakers where the budget is concerned. Some might say this is an easy out. But I say it is symbolic; it would speak to every American that we’re all in this together.

I propose Congress enacts a true, across-the-board spending cut of 10 or 15%. Everything and everybody takes a hit, including the Senators, Representatives, the President and their staffs. Social security recipients get hit. Medicare and AFDC dependents get hit. Even office rental prices should be cut – the federal government has to power to negotiate or downsize. Ag programs get hit. Ad naseum.

Such a plan is doable, fair and unlikely. Instead, I bet Robert Dearing is right. Or perhaps instead of cutting spending in any significant way, the Congress and President will choose to raise the so-called debt ceiling again.

It’s frustrating, but ultimately I come around to the realization our citizenry is really to blame for all these problems. Until the public shows the stomach to accept real cuts and real downsizing of government largesse, we’ll continue to have a growing federal government full of corruption and waste.

That will hurt American competitiveness, including all of agriculture.

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