0715SeymourMR20_hm.cfm A week of firsts
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A week of firsts

For the fist time in history, our annual national deficit topped one trillion dollars in the first nine months of the fiscal year. Thank you stimulus, supplemental appropriations bill, and all the other federal bailouts. A special thank you should also go out to our grandchildren who will have to repay our debts with interest to the Chinese government.

In another first this week, California Senator Barbara Boxer finally agreed with a policy plank of a major production agriculture association. For years production agriculture has tried to bring common sense to coastal and urban lawmakers. Could it be that those efforts have finally paid off? Unfortunately, what seemed like a dream come true quickly became a nightmare for the agriculture community.

Instead of Senator Boxer embracing the policy positions of the general agriculture community, the National Association of Wheat Growers took a dramatic left turn and endorsed the Democrat Party's climate change bill. The day before the House passed the broad sweeping bill by two votes, NAWG released a statement endorsing the bill. Keep in mind roughly 120 other agriculture and rural community groups strongly oppose the bill. Fast forward two weeks to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the global warming bill where Chairman Barbara Boxer touted NAWG's press release as a shining example of the agriculture community's support of the bill. This action contradicted the testimony given by American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman whose organization opposes the bill.

Shortly after the Boxer-Stallman exchange, Ranking Member Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma offered his point of view. Senator Inhofe said that he had spoken to many wheat farmers in his state and others who adamantly oppose the bill. Inhofe rattled off three or four state wheat organizations that disagree with their national organization. When questioned why NAWG endorsed the bill in light of grower opposition Stallman replied; "I do not know where the disconnection lies. I do know from an economic perspective we can show no analysis that indicates that even with a liberal offsets policy that the income from that (offset credit) would offset the increased costs."

During the same hearing, Senator Kit Bond provided a study conducted by the University of Missouri's Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute that analyzes the costs of the bill on Missouri producers. FAPRI estimates that the House climate change bill would cost the average Missouri farm operation an additional $11,000 per year in 2020 and $30,000 per year by 2050. While the NAWG and the Democratic Party tout the carbon credits farmers will receive to reduce these costs, the FAPRI analysis shows a different outcome.

The facts are these, no economic forecasting shows that this bill pencils out positively for any producer's farming operation. On top of that, when you take into account additional costs to heat the house, fuel the vehicles, and purchase food in the end everyone pays more. So congratulations NAWG on your recent "first." I'm sure your California members appreciate it.

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