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PENNSYLVANIA FARMERS' PRESIDENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TAX INCREASE

 CAMP HILL, Pa., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- "Pennsylvania farmers are disappointed with President Clinton's reliance on tax increases rather than spending cuts to meet the stated goal of reducing the deficit," according to a statement today by Keith W. Eckel, president of the Pennsylvania Farmers' Association (PFA). "It's an unrealistic goal."
 "We have experienced too many of these tax increases dedicated to deficit reduction as nothing but folly," the farm leader said. "The most recent example is the 1990 budget summit agreement, which failed because it lacked a means to enforce spending discipline."
 "Agriculture, nor the public at large, can ill afford increased taxes without some spending discipline," Eckel stated. "Therefore, Congress should enact the balanced budget amendment to the constitution and give President Clinton the line item veto."
 Eckel said that the new energy tax proposal of the president "will take more than $600 (direct and indirect) out of the average income of a Pennsylvania farmer. That would be a $13 million-plus cost factor imposed on our PFA membership of 23,000 farm families." The farm economy recovery of the 1980s was greatly helped by stable or declining input costs, such as for fuel, fertilizers and pesticides, according Eckel. Direct cost of the energy tax accounts of about one-half of the total BTUs used in farming operation. The other half comes as higher prices for inputs, such as fertilizers and farm chemicals.
 "President Clinton has targeted several areas of agriculture for budget cuts and revenue increases," Eckel stated. "Some proposals will create hardships for individual producers."
 The farm organization leader went on to explain that since 1982, agriculture has been a prominent part of every deficit-reduction package. "Agriculture has taken its fair share of cuts, while many other areas of federal spending have gone untouched," he concluded.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/22/93
 /CONTACT: Janet B. Carson or Wilson Smeltz of the Pennsylvania Farmers' Association, 717-761-2740/


CO: Pennsylvania Farmers' Association ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MJ-JS -- PH038 -- 9035 02/22/93 16:21 EST
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Date:Feb 22, 1993
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