George W. Bush on Labor & Farming
George W. Bush on Farm Policy
Don’t use food as a diplomatic weapon; it hurts farmers
Q: The family farms are disappearing and having a hard time, even in the current positive economic environment. Your plan?
BUSH: I’d like our farmers feeding the world. We’re the best producers in the world. And I want the farmers feeding the world.
We need to open up markets. Exports are down. And every time an export number goes down, it hurts the farmer. I want the next president to have fast track negotiating authority to open up markets around the world. We’re the best. We’re the most efficient
farmers. I don’t want to use food as a diplomatic weapon from this point forward. It hurts the farmers. It’s not the right thing to do.
We need more work on value-added processing. I’m for research and development, so that we can use our technological
base to figure out new uses for farm products.
I’m for completely getting rid of the death tax. One reason family farmers are forced to sell early is because of the death tax. It’s a tax that taxes people twice, it penalizes the family farmer.
Source: St. Louis debate
Oct 17, 2000
Keep Freedom to Farm Act: cut price supports
Q: The Freedom to Farm Act cut price supports to farmers while giving them more freedom to plant what they want. Do you support this law?
A: Yes. The best way to ensure a strong and growing agricultural sector is through a
more market-driven approach that allows our farmers to fully participate in the world economy. As farming moves towards market-driven production, I believe the government should help farmers adapt to a global marketplace by providing
a strong safety net and the means to manage the cyclical downturns in the farm economy. I will reinforce the important role farmers and ranchers play in the U.S. economy by increasing trade opportunities, reducing regulatory
burdens, and reducing the overall tax burden. My administration will also renew our commitment to investments in new and innovative technologies for rural America.
Source: Associated Press
Sep 20, 2000
Farm policy: emergency relief; insurance; antitrust
Source: GeorgeWBush.com: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’
Apr 2, 2000
- From this point forward, would not use food as a unilateral sanction or diplomatic weapon
- Called for emergency disaster relief, both through direct payments to farmers and through reforming crop insurance
- Supports tax incentives for use
- Will ensure aggressive enforcement of antitrust laws and will move forcefully against any agribusiness entities that are conducting anti-competitive practices
Family farms: Food for Peace instead of food as a weapon
Q: Since the family farmer is self-employed, would you cap government agriculture benefits to a modest one-family level? A: I would look at the formulas to make sure that the money was distributed fairly. And I would have an agricultural department that
would send the money out on a timely basis. I believe we ought to open up markets all around the world. We ought to reduce barriers and tariffs. We shouldn’t be using food as a diplomatic weapon. We ought to implement the food for peace program.
We ought to eliminate the death tax as well so people can pass their farm from one generation to the next. And we ought to have good sound risk management policies that give farmers more options when it comes to crop insurance, and more options on how to
manage their income. Agriculture is incredibly important for this country and one of the reasons why we’ve had trouble in the world is because administrations have traded off agriculture just as if it’s a secondary part of our economy. It’s not.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa
Jan 16, 2000
Ethanol tax incentives good for farmers and good for air
George W. Bush says that he “supports tax incentives for use of ethanol [because] not only is it good for the farmer, it is good for the quality of air all across America.”
Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition, media backgrounder #2
Nov 18, 1999
George W. Bush on Labor
Flex-time & family-oriented work rules via tax code
Bush put a family-oriented twist on a familiar theme, casting his $1.3 trillion, 10-year tax-cut proposal as part of a grander concept of providing greater flexibility to employees. He added several points to his agenda: The overtime proposal, sometimes called “flex-time” by the Clinton administration, has been criticized by some Democrats who fear employers would force employees to take time off instead of overtime pay. A Bush aide said the
proposal would forbid such pressuring, but he did not elaborate on how the law would work. The House has passed legislation similar to Bush’s proposal twice, and Clinton has supported a narrower version. Unions are largely opposed to any measure.
Source: Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A26
Oct 6, 2000
- letting employees receive
compensation time instead of overtime pay;
- making employer-purchased home computers tax deductible;
- forbidding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from monitoring home offices;
- and encouraging television networks to return to an
evening “family hour.”
Tax breaks, child care & bus fare for working recipients
Bush supports the following principles regarding welfare:
Source: Vote Smart NPAT 1998
Jul 2, 1998
- Time limits on welfare benefits
- Require able-bodied welfare recipients to enroll in welfare-to-work programs
- Tax incentives to businesses who hire recipients
- Child care for
recipients who work
- Increase access to public transportation for recipients who work
- Limit benefits to those who have additional children while on welfare
- Require unwed teenage mothers to live with parents or in a group home.