Farm Bureauís Stallman Sees the Good and Bad of Fiscal Cliff Package
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman found good and bad in the fiscal cliff package approved by Congress. He says there is still much work to be done to address the spending side of the ledger. Without progress - Stallman says were are on a one-way road to fiscal disaster. But he believes the package injected a good dose of certainty into the nation's tax policy - which he calls a major achievement. He notes the measure restores the five-million dollar exemption level for the estate tax and includes permanent capital gains tax provisions that retain lower rates. On the minus side - according to Stallman - is the 40-percent top estate tax rate - up from 35-percent. As for the farm bill extension - Stallman says it is little more than a stop-gap measure. He says Farm Bureau is glad a measure is in place for most of this year - but is disappointed Congress did not roll a comprehensive five-year farm bill proposal into the fiscal cliff package. As the 113th Congress works to put a new farm bill in place - Stallman says Farm Bureau will continue to insist on the kind of reforms included in the proposals approved by the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee during the 112th Congress. Stallman says it is Farm Bureau's hope that the new Congress will exercise the leadership needed to put the nation on a path toward fiscal responsibility and agricultural innovation and prosperity.
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