Send President Obama 'Back To The Farm'

Nor' east Thinkin'

Your choice for President of the United States, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, will greatly impact America's future and your farm.

Published on: September 29, 2012

First off, this commentary is my opinion – one I believe is the most important of my career.

Four years ago, the last line of my “Food for Thought” column read: If motivating people were the sole reason for voting, [Barack] Obama deserves to win.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, U.S. voters will go to the polls for another presidential election. The outcome will have a huge impact on America’s future, agriculture and your farm. That’s why I’m overcoming my aversion to politics to outline crucial core differences between the mindsets of President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.

Look beyond their smiling demeanors

Look past the grinning faces and cute comments. Disregard the campaign jabs and punches saturating the media. Ignore talking head analysts that read between the lines – often with fictional interpretations. Blow off the political promises made by either candidate.

Instead, look at their upbringing, their roots, their business experiences and associates and their life philosophies. They starkly differ and profoundly impact the candidates’ viewpoints.

One was raised by a struggling mother with no present father figure, then later groomed as a social activist with liberal constitutional leanings. The other was raised in a traditional family, groomed with a business sense plus conservative values and still accepts the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights as unchanging foundational documents.

It’s no surprise that they differ on issues such marriage, personal responsibility, gun control and many others. Man’s thinking tends to return to his roots, not forsake them.

So which mindset heritage do you want America to pass onto its future? America will be profoundly changed if the wrong man wins.

Which way should we ‘tip’?

People receiving checks from Uncle Sam now outnumber those paying taxes. This “tipping point” – beyond which no stable society can exist – is at our doorstep and is a key election issue.

The issue, from the Democratic perspective, is whether Romney’s reference to 47% being federal income recipients is “mean spirited”. It’s not; it’s real, here and now! It’s also long-term unsustainable.

While Social Security recipients are part of that 47%, they’re just getting back part of what they put into the system. While military retirees are part of it, they actually deserve more for their commitment and sacrifices.

President Obama’s master plan for income redistribution extends far beyond Obamacare. To “Europeanize” us will only grow the entitlement mindset of those who get more for less and something for nothing.

While his is generous thinking, it can only expand government control, increase reliance on Uncle Sam to solve our problems and dramatically increase our already profound federal debt – a recipe for economic disaster – one with global impact!

This election’s most crucial core issue is: Which candidate will best try to bring federal government’s spending habit under control?

Romney’s view is to let private industry and individual entrepreneurship – not government – lead economic growth. That has been the linchpin of America’s greatness, and can be so again – only if we get Uncle Sam’s spending habits under control.

People and their businesses create jobs. Government creates taxes and provides services at taxpayer expense.

More regulation versus less

Stark differences exist between Obama and Romney on Uncle Sam’s regulatory authority over private industry – your business. You only need to look at agriculture to see the mass intrusion of federal agencies' free-wheeling regulations via President Obama’s executive orders – beyond the intent of laws passed by Congress. Here are just four examples:

  • A study released this summer by Farm Credit East and Cornell University’s Pro-Dairy, for example, detailed how U.S. EPA regulators are systematically ratcheting down concentrated animal feeding operation regulations to affect medium- and small-sized livestock operations. In effect, it’ll push smaller livestock farms out of business due to required capital investment to stay in CAFO compliance. Add to that the cost of nutrient management planning, annual updates, plus ongoing compliance records – for farm businesses with already dangerously low operating margins.
  • This spring, agriculture had to take U.S. Department of Labor to the congressional mat this spring over proposed farm youth labor laws that were totally unrealistic and unnecessary.
  • Look at your home town’s main street and see how well the economy is growing. Small businesses (potential employers) are still shutting their doors due to increasingly burdensome, non-productive regulatory paperwork.
  • By Oct. 1, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services’ agency that handles Medicare and Medicaid will require your physician to shift from 13,500 diagnostic codes to more than 70,000. The switch, according to Dr. Michael Speer, president of the Texas Medical Association, can cost solo physicians as much as $83,000 and group practices as much as $250,000.

These are issues President Obama has little understanding of, and even less experience in. None the less, his administration has had a big hand in causing them. And, they are more reasons why our federal debt would continue spiraling far beyond the current $16-plus trillion.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, knows the real costs of running a business. According to Chuck Connor, chairman of the national Farmers and Ranchers for Romney coalition, “[Romney] will roll back most of the regulations put in place against agriculture by the Obama Administration.”

America does not need an autocrat as a ruler; we need a leader to be our president. Vote your common sense.

I strongly urge you to share this commentary with others. More details on some of these key points will be in November’s “Food for Thought” column.

Click on “Add a Comment” to share your thoughts. You don't need to be registered. Thanks for your time and insight.

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  1. Jim Sill says:

    You hit the nail on the head!!! Excellent blog John. You are great Journalist and Editor. Hope all is well!! Cuz Jim Clinton, Iowa

  2. Dan says:

    This is the last chance to moor the boat before goiong over the falls! Thanks for the good essay friend. Dan

  3. don woodard says:

    Did my comments make it to you? They were lengthy and unfinished when the screen changed. If not let me know I will write them again. Perhaps the West Coast farmers would like undo the federally funded water projects.

    • John Vogel says:

      Sorry, your comments didn't come through. We'd like to see them. Please try again or send them directly to John Vogel (jvogel@farmprogress.com) Thanks

  4. George B. Mueller of Am Ag Editorial says:

    Excellent editorial, John. I just hope many farmers across the land take the time to read it. We are dangerously close to a fiscal melt down and only someone with Romney's business expertise will know enough to lead us in a more fiscally responsible direction. . Thanks for writing your common sense essay. Sincerely, George Mueller Willow Bend Farm Clifton Springs, NY