The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) says inflation and tax hikes are key to its opposing the Biden “Build Back Better” Act, despite the bill’s new funding for conservation, forestry, and Ag research.
AFBF President Zippy Duval wrote to House lawmakers on the eve of expected floor action on the president’s now roughly two-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” social and climate spending budget bill. Duval told farm reporters that the bill’s costs outweighed increases for farm programs.
“Those are all attractive programs that are in there, but if you look at it and look at the numbers, you’re talking somewhere between 66 billion to 90 billion, but we’re looking at a 3.5 trillion dollar bill and two trillion dollars’ worth of tax increases.”
Moderate Democrats later forced cuts, but the lower price tag and taxes to fund the bill remain sticking points, especially in the Senate.
Soaring inflation that AFB says now threatens farms and ranches may further complicate the bill’s politics as consumer dollars collide with supply chain bottlenecks. Here’s AFBF Senior Economist Veronica Nigh (NYE).
“You’ve got government spending, yes, savings that we’re not necessarily accustomed to, so there’s a lot of dollars chasing supply of everything, which ends up increasing costs.”
With food prices the highest in a dozen years and meat, fish, and egg prices rising at the fastest rate since 1979. AFB’s Duval adds that energy prices, a huge part of farming, have jumped dramatically, with costs soaring for fuel, fertilizer, and chemicals.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)