Sputnik Moment and Estate Tax Debate

Sputnik Moment and Estate Tax Debate

 Sputnik Moment and Estate Tax Debate plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.


Those of us growing up in the 50’s remember the Cold War and its technological race between nations. Now a senior US official has called China's growing innovation a "Sputnik moment" that should spur the United States to ramp up investment in clean energy, despite a shift in Washington on climate change. Energy Secretary Steven Chu likened a series of Chinese milestones -- including the development of the world's fastest supercomputer -- to the Soviet Union's landmark 1957 satellite that led the United States into the Space Race. Chu said the United States funding for energy innovation was paltry and by contrast, China is working to build the world's most expansive high-speed rail network and has developed technology for the highest-efficiency coal plants.


Estate taxes are once again getting some attention. Bob Stallman, President of Farm Bureau says when faced with a 55-percent tax rate, farm families are often forced to sell just to pay the tax.


STALLMAN: Estate taxes hit farm families harder than other small business owners because 84% of our assets are real estate based. When Uncle Sam comes to pay his respects surviving members without enough cash on hand may be forced to sell land, buildings or equipment that they need to keep their operations going.


Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.


As if children didn’t already have enough on their emotional ride through puberty to deal with, schoolyard bullies, failing grades, embarrassing body changes, now some well meaning but misguided school district officials are entertaining the idea of taking it upon themselves to determine whether the children attending their schools are overweight, or appear to be headed that way. Parents of children that are deemed obese, or “obese prone” by school officials will receive a letter warning them of their child’s “condition” according to school measurements.  And just how do they make this determination? Why, by weighing each and every child of course. Sounds like one more way to make P.E.a traumatic event that will haunt them all their lives. Even childhood experts and dietitians are in agreement that this is not the way to deal with childhood obesity, and that any school districts doing this are misguided and will undoubtedly do more harm than good. As parents, the need to be aware of our children’s health and weight issues is understood. However, the deliberate humiliation of our children by the adults we as parents trust their care to will never be understood. 


That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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