The waters of the U.S. are everywhere. After a month of daily rains, the constant deluge only interrupted by short interludes of drizzle, we’ve got water filling every ditch, puddling every piece of flat ground, standing behind every terrace and seeping from every sidehill. We’ve got water in places it hasn’t been since 1993. Missouri farmers are behind on planting, have lost much of what we did get planted and, if biodiversity is important to you, there are weeds of every kind and description. It’s been a slow motion disaster, and if the forecasts are correct, there’s not much hope of change.
The month of March is upon us and with the change of calendar comes the dawn of springtime and many decisions for Missouri farmers. And this year, these decisions include several important choices on federal safety net programs that could make a big difference for you, your family and your farm through 2018.
In late December, President Obama signed H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. While the president’s overdue action will finally provide taxpayers with some clarity on their obligations for 2014, for the first 352 days of that year, businesses and farmers operated without certainty on the tax structure governing them. They were unable to make informed financial decisions because the tax treatment of those decisions was unknown. As the fourth-generation owner of my family’s farm, I understand that the hardworking men and women of rural America cannot afford for Washington to wait any longer to act. Tax reform has to be a priority in the next Congress to alleviate this uncertainty, and to provide our small-business owners, farmers and entrepreneurs with the assurances they need to grow the economy.
Missouri has the worst campaign finance and ethics laws in the entire country. The legislature’s dance around this fact has gone on long enough, and Missourians are tired of watching too many of their elected officials pretend as though this situation is beyond their control. This week, I announced one of the most comprehensive campaign finance and ethics reform proposals ever considered in our state.