So what exactly does the Export-Import Bank do with your hard-earned money? Check out this money trail:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden just released his plan for dealing with the tax extenders – a group of roughly 50 tax provisions that expire regularly. The Heritage Foundation has long called for Congress to remove specific policies in the extenders package that are unnecessary for a sound tax code, and then replace those policies with pro-growth changes so as not to cause a tax hike. Heritage’s Curtis Dubay wrote how Congress should follow such a process this week.
So fun, so free! Amtrak is currently considering offering a writers’ residency program for writers seeking inspiration-inducing-solitude by traveling through the countryside on an Amtrak train. Providing a “unique environment for creative thought,” the program will be free to boot. Exciting, right? The folks at the Huffington Post think so:
Thanks to novelist Alexander Chee — who recently expressed his wish to see Amtrak begin a writer’s residency — the railroad service is about to offer exactly that, thus exciting writers everywhere.
The four principal House and Senate farm bill conferees, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) 52%, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) 34%, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 5%, and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 30%, have reached a deal on the legislation, one that “bridges the biggest gaps” between the House and Senate versions. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced Thursday that a vote on the farm bill conference report would come as soon as next week. Alternatively, the house may pass a one-month extension of existing programs.
There has been a long-running dispute between the House and Senate on the basis for subsidies to farmers – either a farmer’s base acres or on the actual crops a farmer planted. The agreement allows farmers to choose which type of subsidies they will receive, which more closely resembles what the House bill offers.
The Heritage Foundation has identified myriad flaws with both the House and Senate farm bills, which means a combination of the two will most likely be unsatisfactory and harmful to taxpayers and consumers.
Conservatives like our maple syrup as much as the next person. But is it the place of the federal government to hand out federal taxpayer dollars to encourage the development of maple syrup production on privately held land in upstate New York?
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) thinks so. He has proposed the Maple Tap Act, which he would like to insert into the trillion-dollar farm bill. Sen. Schumer said:
Despite reports that tapping season has begun, hundreds of millions of untapped trees are just sitting there, full of a lucrative natural resource that could propel New York to the top of the maple industry, as well as provide a huge economic boost and new jobs to maple-rich Clinton County.
The program by which this would be accomplished would be run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which conducted a survey of 10 states last year finding that New York ranked second only to Vermont in maple syrup production. And the state has 500 entrepreneurs that produce maple syrup.