Page 2


Democrat * Texas Legislature District 111 Good intentions won’t beat bad candidates. Have you volunteered for Lloyd Dog gett or Mondale-Ferraro? Pol. adv. paid for by Jesse Oliver Re-election Committee. L. G. Foster. Treasurer DEMOCRAT FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 73 kffZfeT Nancy McDonald Nancv mcuonata ,l’IMPAYMSsigninf P.O. BOX 2910AUSTIN, TX. 78769,512-475-3885 1200 GOLDEN KEY CIRCLE SUITE 328 EL PASO, TX. 79925 915.598-5498 Political Advertisement Paid for by Committee to Re-elect Nancy McDonald, Bob Neill, Treasurer. 9201 Moye, El Paso. Texas 79925 most glaring woes: depressed crop prices; a predicted “further price tumble” for the nation’s biggest crop, corn; shrinking farm exports; predictions that farmers’ net cash income may drop 15 percent this year; farm debt equal to or higher than 1983’s “painful heights”; rising interest rates on farm operating loans; and 16 bank failures in eight major farming states this year “as agricultural loans have gone sour.” Republican Congressman Cooper Evans of Iowa even warned Reagan to cancel his scheduled visit to the Hawkeye State unless he brought along . a farm-debt restructuring proposal. Reagan responded by announcing with great fanfare a farm-debt “relief” program that amounted to applying a federal styptic pencil to the hemorrhaging farm economy. The hastily arranged announcement was so transparently political that even relieved Republican candidates must have blushed a bit. Reagan, however, actually managed to appear miffed by suggestions that his announcement was made to stave off the tar and feathers that Iowa farmers had awaiting him or to benefit panicky farmstate candidates. Reagan’s move proved even more cynical than was at first apparent. Currently authorized by Congress to grant three-year deferrals of 100 percent of Farmers Home Administration loans to a farmer, Reagan instead offered a deferral on only 25 percent, in effect trimming the safety net already in place. Furthermore, Block stressed that the program was to be strictly limited to “select borrowers.” A plan to help farmers out of debt was hastily arranged and transparently political. The second part of the package was a federal guarantee program for commercial banks handling farm loans, a bailout for hard-pressed banks caught in the quagmire of the failing farm economy. The $630 million in loan guarantees will be financed by $130 million left unspent by USDA while farmers were going broke, and an additional $500 million appropriation that had been wending its way through Congress over the objections of the Administration. In short, Reagan dropped his opposition and stepped forward to take full credit for the funds just two days before his Iowa trip. REAGAN’S about-face on the credit issue the fastest turnabout since the Olympic swim ming events was only the latest example of the Administration’s waffling on farm issues. In 1981, Block applied “free market” ideology to farm programs and drastically chopped financial incentives designed to discourage price-depressing overproduction of commodities. Predictably, the result in 1982 was record crops and surpluses that knocked the bottom out of the market. In a dizzying flip-flop, Block came up program. That program did help a few family farmers hold on by their fingernails but mostly allowed Block to ignore Congressional intent and dole out to the biggest operations millions Of dollars worth of surplus commodities instead of the $50,000 maximum Congress had imposed on cash payments. The Congress elected this year will write’ the 1985 Farm Bill and determine the course of agriculture for the next several years. If Block and David Stockman are still in positions of influence and get their way on that critical legislation, farm auctioneers will soon be cruising down farm-to-market roads in new Rolls Royces. 10 OCTOBER 12, 1984