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(It is also important to note here that DOT Secretary Ray LaHood holds a seat on the newly created White House Rural Council. A powerful group whose members have ties to George Soros and The Center For American Progress.)
“WFBF opposes any change in statue or regulatory authority that would reclassify implements of husbandry or other farm equipment as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs)”
“The proposed guidance by the FMCSA would result in an initial increased cost to each Wisconsin farmer and employee of $124 just for the CDL license, permit and test; not to mention the time and cost for the behind-the-wheel training that is several thousand dollars.”
Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began to define crop-share tenant farmers as “for-hire“ carriers and implements of husbandry as ”commercial motor vehicles.“ The ”for-hire” designation for crop-share tenant farmers would have a dramatic effect on farmers because it voids exemptions from the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program and would require a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage for the farmer.
Everyone in this Administration – from President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary LaHood on down – is committed to the long-term success of America’s agricultural industry. In many ways, agriculture is the backbone of our economy – feeding hundreds of millions of Americans and billions more around the world. As the largest user of freight transportation in the nation, the agricultural industry is also one of USDOT’s most important constituents. We hope that this comment period is the start of a new and productive relationship. We may not ultimately agree on every issue, but we will always listen — and do our best to help America’s farmers succeed.
Published July 29, 2011
Published July 29, 2011
California water agencies, after suffering three years of drought, are now enjoying an unusual benefit: a tide of cheap water declared “surplus” after a bountiful winter.
State and federal agencies made the water available this year, under special contract terms, for the first time since 2006. The aim is to find a productive use, in cities and on crops, for the weather anomaly that brought more water than state dams can hold.
The water is refilling reservoirs and aquifers all over the state, and putting thousands of acres of farmland back into production.
At times, there literally has been no place to put all the water nature brought to California this year. The surplus sales aim to find new places for that abundance. By dropping the price, state and federal water managers hope an urban water agency might decide to fill its local reservoirs, or that a farm irrigator will be tempted to temporarily flood some land to recharge groundwater.
To that end, they offer this water for a song, relatively speaking. In some cases, surplus water flowing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta this spring was sold by the federal government for as little as $9 an acre-foot, or about 75 percent off already low agricultural rates.
State and federal agencies together have sold more than 660,000 acre-feet of surplus water this year, all at steep discounts. That is about equal to the total annual demand of Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, with 3.8 million residents.
The abundant water has dramatically changed the fortunes of the San Joaquin Valley farm economy.
Shawn Coburn, a farmer near Firebaugh, planted processing tomatoes this year on 500 acres that had been fallowed the last two years due to water shortages.
This will yield about 40,000 tons of a relatively high-value crop, which also required a substantial investment on his part, including the purchase of a new tractor and harvesting equipment.
“In essence, it’s another $2 million that I’m going to spend (on equipment) that I wouldn’t spend if I didn’t have the water,” said Coburn, who also grows almonds and wine grapes. “It’s definitely a year where it’s pretty easy to convince us that water equals prosperity, and not just for the farmer but the overall farm economy.”
The surplus water also acts as a buffer against the next drought. For example, the Kern County Water Agency, which provides irrigation to a vast, arid farm region, is using the bonus water to recharge its groundwater banking aquifer, which was drawn down during the drought.
The agency purchased 245,000 acre-feet of surplus water this year, or about a third of all the surplus water sold.
“This is an extremely important supply for the water users in Kern County and, frankly, for all the water users throughout the state,” said Jim Beck, general manager of the water agency.
Westlands Water District has used the surplus for its immediate irrigation needs, allowing some of the water purchased under its regular contracts – at full price – to be stored in reserve at San Luis Reservoir in case of dry conditions next year, said general manager Tom Birmingham.
Yet some of the arguments over water that play out in dry years continue to resonate amid abundance.
Conservation groups agree that capturing excess flows in wet years is important to help the state endure droughts.
Read it at and see the weird photo at:
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’
When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
I wanted to let you know that I recently joined several other members of the House in writing a letter to members of the United States Senate expressing concerns about President Obama’s nomination of Ms. Rebecca Wodder as Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior.
Normally I do not feel the need to comment on agency nominees and I appreciate the unique role of the Senate in the confirmation process. Nonetheless, the policies previously advocated by this nominee would be so detrimental to jobs, our economy and the livelihood of rural Americans that I felt compelled to join other Members of Congress to make our views known.
This position is responsible for supervising the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and many federal conservation programs administered by the Department of Interior – all of which significantly affect the economy and property rights in rural Northern California.
Ms. Wodder’s current position as the head of American Rivers, a Washington, DC-based national activist group that has repeatedly litigated against the federal government in favor of removing critical energy and flood control infrastructure, and her past work with the Wilderness Society raise serious concerns about a potential bias against multiple use and access that this nominee may bring to this important position.
The organization, however, disregards the fact that there is no scientific evidence to support this assertion. Considering the viewpoints and activism of this group, I am concerned that Ms. Wodder would be unable to pursue a balanced approach that protects energy projects, private property rights, and water rights.
Ms. Wodder’s nomination is currently under consideration by the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources and the Environment and Public Works. While I am not a member of the Senate, I will continue to do all I can to express concern about this nomination and support balanced land management policies that encourage economic prosperity and protect private property rights in Northern California