What is in this article?:
- Educating Congress on agriculture: crafting a new farm bill
- Key friends of agriculture lost
- Agriculture cuts of 23 percent
- Majority of ag funding is for nutrition
U.S. agriculture — and particularly southern agriculture — faces perhaps the most daunting challenge in decades to get its message before Congress and the administration, says Chip Morgan, executive vice president of the Delta Council at Stoneville, Miss.
Agriculture cuts of 23 percent
“For the 2011 fiscal year, the recommendation is for an average 10.3 percent funding cut across all federal agencies, but the cuts for agriculture would amount to an estimated 23 percent cut. Delta Council and other farm organizations are sending letters to the leadership, pointing out the disparity in these proposed cuts, and we’re going to try and work with the Congress to get this changed.
“But there is a tremendous amount of pressure on members of both houses to cut spending. A lot of them came back from the recent holiday recess with their constituents’ message emblazoned on their foreheads: Cut spending! This has potential for a tremendously adverse impact on agriculture.”
With non-entitlement spending representing only about 3 percent of the federal outlays, “to try and balance the budget with cuts that do not include cuts in entitlements, someone is being a bit disingenuous about their real commitment to deficit reduction,” Morgan says.
“Approximately 70 percent of the federal budget is for entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., and 20-plus percent for defense — unless something is done to rein in spending for these programs, none of us will live long enough to see a balanced budget by only cutting out agriculture programs, Teach for America, the Peace Corps, ports and harbor maintenance and other discretionary spending that is less than 10 percent of the budget pie”.
“If these drastic cuts are enacted, it will have a massive impact on the economy, with widespread job losses. At some point, this hoax is going to be exposed by the mainstream media, which to this point have pretty much overlooked it.”