Concerns about costly new taxes, mandates and federal regulations were on the minds of 8th District residents Saturday at the 19th annual 8th District Farm Forum as a capacity crowd gathered at Edison Community College in Piqua to meet with agriculture experts and talk energy, food safety and animal care.
Delivering the keynote address, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee (OK-03) said that Washington Democrats are ignoring the concerns of today’s farmers as they push a big-government agenda that includes a massive government takeover of health care, a ‘cap and trade’ national energy tax, and out-of-control government spending.
“Farmers today are faced with an alarming attempt at a federal grab of power,” Lucas said.
Following Lucas, Congressman Boehner pledged that Republicans would work to put an end to all the uncertainty surrounding job-killing agenda and continue to offer better solutions – like an ‘all of the above energy strategy’ that would create jobs and ensure the availability of affordable, abundant energy – to the challenges families face every day.
“I’m still here because the fight for a smaller, more accountable and less costly government isn’t over yet,” Boehner said.
Congressman John Boehner and Congressman Frank Lucas take questions from 8th District residents at the 19th annual Farm Forum.
Later, in Q&A with local reporters, Boehner and Lucas offered their views on many of the issues and concerns addressed throughout the day. Below are excerpts:
Washington Democrats’ ‘Cap And Trade’ National Energy Tax Will Devastate The American Farmer, Boehner And Lucas Say
Boehner: “’Cap and trade’ will regulate everything on the farm; everything from when you can plow and sow to when you can harvest. And it’s going to raise the prices of energy for every American that drives a car, relies on energy at the workplace, or has the audacity to flip on a light switch.”
Lucas: “[The agriculture community] is a tremendous consumer of energy. And yes we are also energy producers. This bill would give the federal government control over everything we do. It’s an alarming attempt at a federal grab of power.”
Boehner And Lucas Staunchly Oppose Liberal Special Interest Groups Working To Impose Radical Agenda On Nation’s Livestock Farmers
Boehner: “Ohio passed a livestock protection board initiative last November, and the state is currently going about setting that up. I believe it was a responsible way to deal with livestock protection in Ohio. But radical groups like the Humane Society of the United States continue to get in the way of livestock production, and are looking for new ways to impose their agenda on Americans.”
Lucas: “We should only be looking at this from a science-based approach. And it should be a state issue. I think Ohio has done good work addressing this on the state level.
Boehner And Lucas Say Out-Of-Control Spending, Skyrocketing Debt Will Hurt Agriculture
Boehner: “It is going to impact every corner of our economy. At some point you are going to hear higher interest rates, and higher interest rates will slow down economic growth in America. And when you slow down economic growth, people aren’t going to have as much money in their pockets. So costs are going to go up and farmers' revenue is going to go down.”
Lucas: “And because agriculture is such a capital intensive industry the way we practice it so efficiently in the United States, we are more sensitive to those costs.”
Failure To Address Death Tax Will Hurt Farmers And Small Businesses, Boehner And Lucas Say
Lucas: “We cannot let the death tax come back with full force at the end of this year. If you take into consideration ten years worth of inflation, it will dramatically increase the real impact on farmers and small business people. At what point will [Washington Democrats] start focusing on these issues? ”
Boehner: “Given Washington Democrats’ track record dealing with must-do issues, I’m not sure they can get there. I’ve seen a lot of talk about a solution on the death tax, and yet we’ve not seen any action from the Senate.”
Boehner Says Republicans Must Work With Tea Parties To Build A Better America
“The American people are tired of all the spending and the debt. I’ve been to my fair share of Tea Parties. There are some Republicans there, and there are some Democrats there, but 75 percent of the people I’ve seen at these events are normal, everyday Americans who are scared to death that the country they grew up in isn’t going to be the country their kids and grandkids are going to inherit. And they want something done about it. I’ve made it clear that I think we should listen to the people involved in the Tea Parties. We should work with them, and we should walk among them; and I intend to.”