Lucas and Roberts respond to President’s Debt Plan

The President’s Debt Plan shows a lack of understanding of the agriculture community.

Our country’s debt is a major issue for our country that affects everyone in the nation. In order for something to be done, it is understood that cuts will have to be made and the agricultural community is willing to play its part.

However, President Obama’s debt reduction plan that he claims will also spur economic growth has its priorities misplaced.

The goals that he has placed in his plan show that his administration doesn’t understand how their proposed changes to United States’ agricultural policy will affect all of us who rely on our country’s farmers.

For example, they want to cut $8 billion from the federal government’s crop insurance plan. With flooding, droughts, and other natural disasters continuing to threaten the livelihood of many in our country, a cut this deep could threaten the entire program. Our nation’s producers have said countless times that this program is one of the best risk management tools available to them.

While farmers are taking a major hit, conservation efforts that have seen their spending increased by 500% through the years will only see a $2 billion cut, or approximately three percent. Additionally, the President’s proposal doesn’t do anything to try to eliminate the waste and fraud that has plagued the USDA’s nutrition programs, programs that account for about 80% of the USDA’s spending.

The agricultural community knows that funding cuts must occur to help our nation decrease the deficit and the debt. However, these cuts must take into account what would be best for our nation’s producers to ensure the continued health of our nation’s farming community.