Sunday, November 04, 2012

Romney, Obama Respond On Key Agriculture Issues

With the national spotlight on the race for the White House, the American Soybean Association (ASA) reached out to President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for each candidate’s points of view on issues critical to soybean farmers. President Obama and Governor Romney offered their positions on the farm bill and crop insurance, estate tax, biodiesel, biotechnology, trade, research, regulations, and transportation and infrastructure. Read their full responses below.  

Estate Tax

President Obama: I have put forward a balanced plan for deficit reduction that continues tax cuts for the middle-class, while asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their share. First, we must extend the middle class tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans making less than $250,000 for another year. In fact, my proposal extends tax cuts for 97 percent of all small business owners in America. But at the same time, if we are going to reduce the deficit without sacrificing investments in our future like education, clean energy, and manufacturing, we can’t afford to continue tax breaks for the wealthiest. I support the return of the estate tax exemption and rates to 2009 levels. At this level, only 60 small farm and business estates in the entire country would owe any estate tax in 2013. This would protect the family farm from being sold to pay taxes, while ensuring that folks like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, or the Koch Brothers do not avoid the tax on their billion dollar estates.

Governor Romney:
At the very heart of U.S. agriculture is the family farm. Traveling across the heartland of America and visiting with farm families, I have been continuously impressed with their entrepreneurial spirit and drive to be successful. It is my pledge to rural America that the federal government will not force our farmers and ranchers to sell their operations or part of their operations simply to pay death taxes as their operations pass from one generation to next. For this reason, I fully support eliminating the death tax. Family farms and ranches built on strong rural values and work ethic should not be penalized through the heavy hand of government. Family farms are and need to continue to be the backbone of rural America. For this reason, a Romney Administration will work to ensure that our nation’s farm families face no  federal death tax.

Read the rest here.

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