National Debt Hurting Ag. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.
While there's a lot of focus on health care reform and climate change legislation in Washington and in rural America - Jim Wiesemeyer, Senior Vice President for Informa Economics says there's an even bigger issue looming - the national debt.
WIESEWEYER: We're looking at a 12 to 14-trillion dollar accumulated debt let alone with the annual deficits of over a trillion dollars each year over the next several years. Now if you were just at the beginning of that it wouldn't be a problem but they're starting to accumulate to such a high degree that Obama's own longer term budget forecast show that as a percent of the U.S. economy gross domestic product it could approach 90%.
Including - Wiesemeyer says - U.S. agriculture programs.
WIESEWEYER: Agriculture will be given a number and that will come out in the budget resolution and budget reconciliation. The budget committees in Congress next year likely will tell each committee how many billions of dollars they have to save over the next 10 years and this is just a prediction. What agriculture wants to do is phase in those cuts. In other words let the 2008 Farm Bill play out, don't reduce those but maybe take a look at the amount of direct payments. Maybe reduce those. Further reductions in the crop insurance area.
Wiesemeyer doesn't think the budget cuts will be Draconian - but he says agriculture will have to make a contribution.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.