WSJ: Biden’s Tax Increases on American Farmers

Arkansas Sen. Boozman responds to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack

Sep 18 2021

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s op-ed “Biden’s Tax Changes Won’t Hurt Family Farmers” (Sept. 9) should have been an opportunity to clear the air on the tax increases President Biden is pushing to fund his multitrillion dollar expansion of social programs.

Unfortunately, the piece consists of platitudes, talking points and anecdotes meant to deflect from the damage the president’s tax increases would have on America’s nearly two million family-owned farm operations. Mr. Vilsack even suggests that “the people who are going to pay tax under the proposal have never plowed an acre.”

America’s family farmers and ranchers strongly disagree. These are not absentee landowners. They aren’t a smoke screen of lobbyists, as the secretary so cavalierly alleged. Nor are they corporate boogeymen, a trope often thrown around by those detached from agriculture to justify increasing taxes on family farmers and ranchers.

These farmers and ranchers, represented by a coalition of 330 national and state farm organizations, are urging lawmakers to oppose altering or eliminating longstanding tax-code provisions that are fundamental to the financial health of the agriculture industry. They are not buying what the Biden administration and congressional Democrats are selling. They want evidence to reassure them that the future of their family businesses is safe. 

Mr. Vilsack missed an opportune chance to reassure the agriculture community. It’s not hard to understand why. The facts that would lead to those reassurances simply do not exist.

Sen. John Boozman (R., Ark.) Wall Street Journal Letters to the Editor