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Agricultural News

Romney Outlines Plans for Rural America on Campaign Trail, in new Whitepaper

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 16:11:37 CDT

Romney Outlines Plans for Rural America on Campaign Trail, in new Whitepaper
Presidential nominee Mitt Romney addressed rural issues in a campaign stop in Van Meter, Iowa, Tuesday. He spoke at the Koch family farm on themes that he unveiled in August including expanding trade, eliminating the inheritance tax, easing regulations, and making America energy independent by 2020. Romney used the occasion to release a whitepaper outlining his plan to reinvigorate rural America. (You can read Romney’s full position paper by clicking here.)

“America’s farmers and ranchers play an incredibly important role in our economic prosperity and must be supported,” said Romney. “My Plan for a Stronger Middle Class includes policies that will help the agriculture sector thrive and deliver an economic recovery for rural America.”

Romney criticized President Obama for pursuing harmful policies from "tax increases and onerous regulations, to a stalled trade agenda, to efforts to drive up the cost of energy, the President’s agenda has consistently disregarded the concerns and needs of farmers, ranchers, and rural communities."

Romney said, “We already ask our farmers and ranchers to cope with natural disasters. They should not also have to battle a man-made disaster of taxes and regulations from Washington. Our economic recovery must also be a rural recovery, and my plan for a stronger middle class will ensure that our agricultural sector grows and thrives.

“The farm bill is an important case in point. This legislation provides important peace of mind for farmers and ranchers through programs that help manage market volatility and respondto natural disasters. Unfortunately, that peace of mind has been wiped away by a Congress stuck in gridlock and a President unwilling to show leadership on the issue.” He said he will see that the farm bill stuck in Congress is passed in a timely fashion.

In his tax policies, Romney calls for cutting current tax rates by 20 percent, eliminating the estate tax, maintaining low capital gains tax rates, and implementing a tax-free savings plan for middle income Americans.

“Taxes influence the economic incentives driving the everyday decisions of families and businesses across America. The agricultural community is not immune to these effects. Far from it: because most farm income is taxed under the individual income tax system, and because inheritance plays such an important role in the preservation of family farms, tax policy can make an enormous difference in the prosperity or struggles of rural America.”

Romney’s plan calls for aggressively enforcing current international marketing agreements to gain greater access to foreign markets for U.S. producers. He also calls for concluding additional free-trade agreements with friendly countries to expand access to foreign markets.

On regulations, Romney proposes to freeze any new, pending, or proposed regulations affecting agriculture. He also says he will eliminate those that are “duplicative, ineffective, or not economically justifiable.”

In his whitepaper, Romney calls for imposing “a regulatory cap that forces agencies to spend as much time repealing and streamlining old regulations as they spend on advancing new ones.”

Romney also calls for the reinvigoration of the American energy sector. He says he will accelerate energy development projects in North America, restore transparency and fairness to the permitting process, maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard, and facilitate the development of new technologies without picking winners and losers.



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