Farmers Union offers Fiscal Cliff solution

By National Farmers Union

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson urged Congress and President Barack Obama to come to a balanced agreement that reduces the federal deficit and includes a five-year farm bill and an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy.

“There is a simple way to avoid the proverbial fiscal cliff and that is to pass what many can agree on now: raise additional revenues but also reducing expenditures. Besides increasing some taxes, strategic cuts should be made to government spending, and among them should be the inclusion of a five-year farm bill,” said Johnson.

“Both the House and Senate agriculture committees, along with the full Senate, have passed bipartisan versions of the farm bill that will save between $23 billion and $35 billion. A compromise version of this five-year farm bill represents a smart way to cut spending that Republicans and Democrats can agree to,” Johnson continued.

Johnson also called for an extension of the PTC, which provides an income tax credit for the production of electricity from renewable sources of energy. The current PTC is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012.

“The benefits of the PTC to rural development are enormous and will give farmers and ranchers the chance to diversify their operations by receiving lease payments, while saving 37,000 jobs and continuing to diversify our energy supply, thus increasing energy security,” Johnson noted.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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