WASHINGTON – During U.S. President Barak Obama’s bus tour through rural America, a common theme of overregulation has been brought to the president’s attention. The president was confronted by farmers and ranchers worried about the excess of burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded regulations. President Obama advised the audience Wed., Aug. 16, 2011, in Atkinson, Ill., not to believe everything they hear and blamed lobbyists for getting “all ginned up.”
The president went as far as calling some rumors of regulations “frankly unfounded,” without specifically addressing any regulations or the administration’s regulatory review promised earlier this year. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Immediate Past President Steve Foglesong said the president missed an opportunity to tell Illinois farmers anything to ease their concerns.
“The fact is this administration is intent on stifling free enterprise by allowing agencies in this administration to propose regulation after regulation without any analysis on the impact on jobs in this country,” said Foglesong, who is a crop and livestock producer in Astoria, Ill. “The president is out of touch with rural America.”
Foglesong said the tour across rural America was not a listening session. In fact, he says the president dismissed legitimate concerns of this administration regulating farmers and ranchers out of business. He said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s proposed rule on livestock and poultry marketing alone could cost 114,000 jobs nationwide and increase retail meat prices more than 3 percent.
“Either the president has no clue what regulations his bureaucratic agencies are proposing or he simply doesn’t care,” said Foglesong. “Burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded regulations do not create jobs. I was naïve to think a tour in rural America might make a difference.”
The president touted free trade agreements as a way to create jobs. In fact, Foglesong said the president is right. For every $1 billion worth of agricultural good exported, 8,000 jobs are created. However, the president has yet to send the agreements to Congress.
“For more than five years, trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea have collected dust while our competitors sign, seal and deliver on trade deals,” said Foglesong. “If the president is serious about jobs and stimulating the economy, then he needs to send the trade deals now. Instead of passing blame, the president needs to lead.”