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Published August 05, 2013, 10:03 AM

House farm bill is right

What happened to the “farmer” in Democrat-Farmer-Labor party? Minnesota Democrats such as Rep. Andrew Falk, DL-Murdock have proven that they simply don’t stand up for those in Greater Minnesota and the agriculture community.

By: Tim Miller,

What happened to the “farmer” in Democrat-Farmer-Labor party?

Minnesota Democrats such as Rep. Andrew Falk, DL-Murdock have proven that they simply don’t stand up for those in Greater Minnesota and the agriculture community.

Democrats, led by their all-metro leadership, passed dramatic tax increases on Minnesota farmers by implementing a new tax on farm machinery repair services, as well as a warehousing tax that may affect farmers who pay for tractor storage, fertilizer, fuel and other inputs.

In addition, let’s not forget that they will be paying higher energy prices and other fees thanks to the Democrats’ budget, where everyone pays more. Greater Minnesota continues to see funding disparities as millions, if not billions of dollars of wasteful spending and excess flow into Minneapolis and St. Paul. Simply put, rural communities are paying more and getting less.

Going against ag

To add insult to injury, on July 11, Rep. Collin Peterson D-Minn., voted against farmers to add more welfare to a broken system. Peterson was angry that Congress finally did what has desperately been needed and placed 100 percent focus on agriculture. In fact, he used the words “lunacy” and “stupid” for a bill one would view as a new future for agriculture.

I have repeatedly heard farmers say they want certainty so they can plan for the future in regard to production and budget. Without the farm bill in place, that would simply be impossible.

In a bold move, the Republican congressional delegation provided that certainty by passing the farm bill as a standalone bill, rather than coupling it with controversial government handouts that had doomed the previous farm bill.

After 22 years in Congress, it is time for Peterson to be open to new ways of doing business. One in that we provide a certainty for farmers and reform a welfare system which can be much more effective and efficient. In Peterson’s own words, if Congress is such a “nightmare,” then it is time for him to go.

Editor’s note: This letter originally appeared in the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minn.

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