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Holidays Important Time for Congress

During this holiday season - American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says it's a time for celebration and giving - and receiving. In the political arena though - Stallman says it's typically a down time - especially when new Congressional members have just been elected and the previous Congress is in lame duck mode. But Stallman says everyone's goose will be cooked if Congress doesn't act soon on several significant outstanding items. Without some important decisions before January 1st - Stallman says the U.S. economy will drop off the fiscal cliff. Congress has to cut 1.2-trillion dollars over the next 10-years from the deficit - and without any action by the end of the year - automatic cuts will affect more than a thousand federal programs - many of which impact agriculture. The fiscal cliff also will impact tax breaks - including the estate tax - which will revert from a five-million dollar exemption with a 35-percent tax rate to a one-million dollar exemption with a top tax rate of 55-percent. Stallman says this could impact one of every 10 farms - making it impossible for young farmers to carry on their family operations. He says Congress has a lot on its holiday plate during the next several weeks.

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