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Press Release - Campaign Release Agriculture Policy Plan

October 24, 1996

Bob Dole and Jack Kemp today issued a 14-point pledge outlining their commitment to America's farmers, ranchers and rural voters. In releasing the pledge, former Secretary of Agriculture John Block said, "Agriculture and rural American will have friends and advocates in the White House with Bob Dole as President and Jack Kemp as Vice- President. This pledge underscores the sharp differences between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton on what rural America needs to regain prosperity and create jobs as we move into the 21st century.

"As President, Bob Dole will cut taxes, reduce government regulation and enforce trade agreements. The Dole/Kemp plan is agriculture friendly and stands in a stark contrast to Bill Clinton's anti-agriculture proposals like the BTU tax he suggested in his first term. This massive energy tax would have cost America's farmers, ranchers and small business people millions of dollars each year. The record is clear: Bob Dole knows and understands agriculture and rural America.

"The pledge is an effective way to tell farmers, ranchers, and the agribusiness community what Bob Dole will do for them. For years Bob Dole has worked for rural America to develop policies that will move agriculture into the 21st Century, while Bill Clinton has sat on the sideline and supported outdated policies of the past. This signed pledge further distinguishes the differences between the two."


The Dole/Kemp Pledge to Agriculture and Rural America

Rural America represents the heart, soul, history and heritage of our nation.

Since our country's founding, U.S. agriculture has been a source of economic growth and prosperity at home and a symbol of strength and leadership throughout the world. The importance of a strong, vibrant agricultural sector of our national economy and national security is no less today than it was two centuries ago. Today, over 60 million Americans make their home in rural and small town America, and one in five is employed in an agriculture. Recognizing these facts, we hereby sign "the Dole/Kemp Pledge to Agriculture and Rural America." As President and Vice President of the United States, we will actively carry out the following policies and actions:

* We will cut federal income tax rates on America's farm and ranch families by 15%

* We will support legislation to increase the estate tax exemption from $600,000 to $1.6 million and eventually eliminate the estate tax on family owned businesses, farms and ranches.

* We will support legislation to reduce the capital gains tax from 28% to 14%.

* We will support legislation to allow the self-employed and their families to deduct 100% of their health insurance premium costs.

* We will oppose reduction or elimination of producer contract payments in the 1996 Farm Bill.

* We will ensure that regulations affecting private property rights are voluntary and incentive-based, and apply this approach to the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act in the next Congress.

* We will use all available tools, credit and market development programs to maintain and enhance demand for U.S. farm commodities and products which are in surplus or which requires assistance to be competitive in international trade.

* We will aggressively pursue trade cases involving agriculture through the office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

* We will not single out agricultural exports in any trade embargo implemented for foreign policy or national security reasons.

* We will support continued funding of the 1996 Farm Bill conservation programs including the Conservation Reserve Program, the Wetlands Reserve Program and the Environmental Quality Incentive Program.

* We will support reform of current regulations governing management of wetlands and rangeland to balance the needs of agricultural and the environment.

* We will support the continued use of alternative fuels.

* We will support an increase in Federal funding for agricultural research.

* We will appoint qualified individual at the U.S. Department of Agriculture who will not use their offices for political activities or personal gain.

We pledge to carry out each of the above commitments of Agriculture and Rural America.

Robert Dole, Press Release - Campaign Release Agriculture Policy Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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