Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.2)

Budget Revenues 2016

Budget Revenues 2016

To give you some perspective, since 1966 the U.S. has maintained an annual deficit, where federal spending surpassed federal income, in all but 5 years (1969, 1998-2001). Over this 50-year period the U.S. deficit has averaged 2.8 percent of U.S Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the World Bank estimated 2014 GDP for the U.S. was $17. 4 trillion, #1 in world followed by China with a GDP of $10.4 trillion.…

Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.1)

President Obama announces his annual budget

President Obama announces his FY 2017 budget

As in each year preceding, on February 9, President Obama released his annual budget for the U.S. that tops $4 trillion.  The budget outlines the current Administration’s policy proposals, budgetary projections, and economic forecasts for the next decade. This will be the last annual budget report for his administration.

The Obama Administration can be commended for controlling the federal budget deficit as the deficit has improved over the last 6 years.  But, prior to the budget announcement, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook report saying the U.S. will be unable to sustain improving deficits in the next decade (2016-2026).  CBO’s analysis is conducted assuming current federal policies remain in place. Congressional leaders and others use the data to assess recent policy decisions and to guide future policy decisions for federal programs.…

Presidential Election Year Holds Little Promise

iStock_000012140466_Small2015 Productive Legislative Year For Congress, But 2016 Presidential Election Year Holds Little Promise

The U.S. House and Senate reconvened in January for the 2nd Session of the 114th Congress after closing out a very productive and bipartisan 1st legislative session.  Major accomplishments during the last session of Congress included:

  • repairing how the Medicare program pays physicians
  • overhauling the education law No Child Left Behind
  • adopting a 5 (but will become a 3)-year highway bill totaling $300 billion
  • passing all 12 appropriations bills in a $1.15 trillion Omnibus spending bill that funds all government agencies for FY 2016 and includes policy riders that end the ban on U.S. exports of crude oil and helps resolve data breaches of government information.…

Government Relations is a Marathon…

Lobbyist_Agriculture_Corporate_Energy_Computer_keyboard_01Government Relations is a marathon… not a sprint. Changes in public policy is typically a long process, from providing regulatory comments to an agency issuing a final rule, or from convincing congressional committee members to allow changes in legislation to the enactment of law.  Businesses and organizations who need to have their voices heard in Washington, or even at the state level need to understand that, from its creation, government does not move fast. It is slow, deliberate, and doesn’t react as quickly as the private sector. This can be frustrating for companies, industries, or non-profit organizations that need rapid change to accommodate their future growth.

U.S. Electorate Sends Washington More of the Same: Gridlock!

Gridlock from the Ballot boxGoing into the 2012 general election there was much fanfare about the U.S. electorate being upset with partisan bickering and wanting more accomplished by the lawmakers they send to Washington, DC.  Presidential, Senate, and House candidates throughout the country spent months harshly campaigning and over $6 billion . The result – the President was re-elected without a clear policy mandate and Congress remains divided, suggesting partisan gridlock will continue.…

Farm Bill: With Clock Ticking Proposals Begin to Surface

Farm Bill ImpactAs we have been discussing for months, the push for deficit reduction is creating more of an immediacy to adopting a Farm Bill sooner rather than later.  And, with the deadline for policy recommendations from authorizing Committees to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSCDR) now under two weeks away, farm policy proposals are beginning to surface.  The JSCDR must generate at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years this fall.

Between $10 and $50 billion of budget savings are targeted from the Farm Bill.…

Rural Development & The President’s Jobs Plan

Rural Development & rural healthcareDuring the President’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress on September 8, he said, “Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.”  Typically, the opposition party would be totally dismissive of such remarks, but with the U.S. economy on the ropes and a U.S. electorate demanding action to remedy it, that’s why many congressional Republicans cannot totally dismiss the remarks of the President.

Don’t Get Thrown Under the Policy Bus – Again

Don't get thrown under the POLICY bus againLearning Lessons From Trade Dispute Votes in Congress

Recently, the Obama Administration announced that U.S. and Mexican negotiators finalized a program that will allow Mexican trucks carrying imported goods to travel throughout the U.S. to their destinations, a promise made by the U.S. eighteen years ago and codified in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The accord was reached 2 years and 3 months after Mexico, legally under NAFTA, applied tariffs of between 10 and 45 percent on 89 U.S. products totaling $2.4 billion.…

Distribution May Be A Key to Alternative Energy

Alernative energy distribution lobbying - Cansler ConsultingWal-Mart is one of the largest, most profitable companies in the world enjoying reasonable margins on everyday commodity and household items. How? Efficient Distribution!

Wal-Mart maintains one of the best distribution systems in the world which in turn makes their products more affordable to consumers globally. Can alternative energy learn a lesson from the retail giant?

To date, little emphasis has been placed on transportation and logistics issues moving advanced biofuel feedstocks to biorefineries for fuel production.  These issues were raised in a report by the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture (May 2010) and both agencies highlighted the lack of a logistics system capable of handling and delivering sufficiently high volumes of biofuel products as a significant barrier to the expansion of a sustainable domestic biofuels industry. Some solutions raised in their report included:…

On Solutions to US Debt, It’s Compromise, Not Capitulation

Lobbying for compromise in Washington DC -Cansler ConsultingWith a deadline just days away, congressional leaders and The White House STILL cannot reach an agreement on how to move forward on reducing U.S. debt.  All when the  U.S. global credit rating is at stake amidst a capricious economy and the Treasury Secretary and leading Economists  warning of the catastrophic nature of the U.S. default on its $14.3 trillion debt. The stalemate is due to lawmakers inability to make long-term decisions for the country, over old, ideological positions among political parties.  Republicans are refusing to raise revenues (taxes) and Democrats are refusing to make policy changes to programs like Social Security and Medicare.…

A Farm Policy Battle Continues This Week, But The War is Far From Over!

Congressman Jeff Flake on Farm Bill, Cansler ConsultingA Farm Policy Battle continues to wage in the U.S. House of Representatives this week showcasing the escalating issue over how Congress must change current U.S. agricultural programs in the 2012 Farm Bill ruled as “trade distorting” by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“Do NOT Pay the $147 Million…”
Passed By Voice Vote

During the U.S. House Appropriations (full) Committee hearing on May 31, Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ), (a member of the Tea Party Caucus that promotes fiscal responsibility) offered an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that reduces direct payments to U.S. cotton producers by $147 million, the amount equal to the Framework Agreement with Brazil. Congressman Flake’s amendment was adopted by a voice vote of the Appropriations Committee members.…

Year 2050: 9 billion mouths to feed?

World Population Graph courtesy of WikipediaAccording to scientists, by the year 2050, the world population will be at about 9 BILLION people. Unless we adjust today’s agricultural and food production methods, this will mean that about 1 BILLION people on the planet will be starving and malnourished.

ANOTHER Population Boom!

In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s there was a great deal of lip service given to the term “population boom”. Families reunited after World War II literally spawned the Baby Boomer generation. In the last five decades the world population has expanded from a few billion to nearly triple at 6.8 billion currently. Projections indicate that number will increase, adding another 2-6 billion in the next 4 decades.…

Congressional Budget Office Releases Budget Projections

2012 Farm Bill Washington Lobbyist Cansler ConsultingRecently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual budget projections for direct spending costs of farm legislation over the next 10 years. These, and perhaps subsequent projections, will be used by lawmakers to write the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill.

Congress is set to begin writing the next re-authorization of the Farm Bill as most programs under the current (2008) Farm Bill are set to expire September 30, 2012.  In fact the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee has announced its first farm bill hearing on April 9 at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan.

Congressional fact-finding hearings will continue occurring over the next several months as lawmakers on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees seek to audit current programs that are working, as well as those that are not.…

House Investigates Economic Impediments & their Impact

House Committees Investigate Economic ImpedimentsU.S. House leaders are directing committees to identify regulations & procedures that impede economic growth. The U.S. House recently adopted House Resolution 72 by an overwhelmingly bi-partisan vote of 391 – 28 that directs the following congressional committees to “inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth” that affect……