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Although politics may be against Obama enacting changes in payment limitations, one of his first actions as President was to extend the comment period for the payment limit rule released by President Bush in his remaining months in office.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack voiced similar statements as Obama did last fall regarding the need to provide payments only to those who "need it most." The future remains whether loopholes can truly be closed by the Administration and bypass Congressional members who have successfully blocked attempts in the past to reign in spending on farm program payments.
The following is a response to a January 2009 Farm Futures article, "Politics prevent payment limits." The reader is a farms 7,000 acres of corn, soybeans and potatoes with his two sons in
"I understand why the administration is trying to eliminate farm program payments to non-farmers. But how the program is designed now seems to discriminate against true farmers. The local FSA offices should determine who is an absentee farmer. And those people should be the ones that fall under the payment limit rules.
"We're out there seven days a week, 10 to 15 hours a day and now we're being punished for it because we saved our money since our investments put us over the lower adjusted gross income limit of $500,000. I have two sons involved in the operation and we don't include our spouses in our farm payments.
"I understand it's going to be hard to convince somebody that if you've got money, why do you need help. That isn't the issue. If they have the program, it should be entitled to everyone and not discriminated against those who save money."
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