TFU:  Farmers Victims of Tax Cut--

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 22, 2001) - The U.S. Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Midsession Review, released by the administration shows the budget surplus that fueled the recent tax cut has eroded, along with opportunities to provide adequate funds to implement policies needed by farmers, ranchers and rural America.

According to the OMB review, The costs of the farm bill now moving through Congress, which restructures farm programs through the next several years, will have to be offset through savings in other federal programs, a prospect that is not easily accomplished.

"While the administration promoted a tax cut that mostly benefited the wealthy, it rejected needed funds for agriculture in the recently-signed assistance package and now threatens the viability of future farm programs," Texas Farmers Union President Wes Sims said. "We need Congress and the administration to pay added attention to the needs of America's family farmers and ranchers."

Stalled economic growth and the largest tax cut in history have resulted in a reassessment of budget surplus projections that could limit additional spending for domestic agriculture programs provided for in the 2002 budget resolution. The political reality is that Congress may not be willing to approve a farm bill that will in fact be raiding Social Security and Medicare.

"Unfortunately, this outcome was predicted by many prior to the passage of the tax bill," Sims said. "This action will make it extremely difficult to establish meaningful farm legislation that provides new market opportunities and an improved economic safety net for farmers and ranchers."

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556