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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

You Be The Judge

Aug 07, 2008
You be the judge. In 3 months, we will elect a new President. Your choice will be between John McCain and Barack Obama. Their positions on issues important to farmers and ranchers and rural America are becoming better defined.

John McCain – I have known John McCain for 25 years. He was a loyal soldier for Ronald Reagan. In recent years, he has become more of a maverick.

Barack Obama – he’s a new kid on the block. He doesn’t have a lot of votes on issues but he appears to be pretty liberal.

Neither one of the candidates know very much about agriculture.

Issue No. 1 – Farm Bill – John McCain is more critical of the bill than Obama. He thinks it spends too much money -- not just to farmers but remember, 80% of the spending goes to nutrition and other programs.

Trade – McCain is a free trader. Obama has been very critical of our trade agreements, suggesting they should be rewritten.

Estate Tax – McCain wants to exempt the first $10 million from tax and tax the rest at 15%. Obama would keep the exemption at $3.5 million for an individual with the rest taxed at today’s rate of near 50%. That’s not relief.

Energy – McCain supports all classes of energy but he would limit the amount of government subsidies. And that includes the subsidies supporting ethanol. McCain wants to lift the ban on drilling off our coasts, while Obama is resisting that.

McCain wants to build nuclear power plants. Obama says no, not now.

Both candidates say they want America to be energy independent. I don’t know how we can do that if we reject drilling where we know there is energy and refuse to build nuclear power plants.

Stand back and look at the candidates. What is their philosophy?

What I know about John McCain is that he is no fan of the nanny state. He wants less regulation, less spending, and less taxes. That’s John McCain.

I think Barack Obama would be more inclined to regulate and spend money – more willing to depend on the government to intervene and fix the problem. That’s the basic philosophy of his party. You may think that is the way to go, or maybe not. These candidates are very different in philosophy, age, experience, and background.

You be the judge.

Let me know what you think. You can reach me at jblock@ofwlaw.com.

I am John Block from Washington.

Listen to the broadcast here.

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