John Block: Election Day 2016 – Part II

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block

This year’s election process has been wild and crazy. Hard to imagine, but we will know the results on Tuesday. Last week, Rick Frank delivered this radio program for me. He said that he would vote for Hillary Clinton, but hoped that Republicans would hold on to their majority in the Senate to preserve the checks and balances.

With Hillary as President, the left wing leaders in her party could devastate our economy. They want to tell us how to farm and take our property rights away from us. Her position on the death tax scares family businesses and farms to death. How can you hold a family business together if the government comes in and takes 45% or 50% of it? We don’t have cash money on the shelf ready to pay off Uncle Sam. Besides, we have already paid taxes on any money we have made. The estate tax is the most unfair, un-American tax we have.

Rural America is also afraid of over-regulation. That is what President Obama has done, and we would jut see more of the same under Hillary.

A month ago, I participated in a 65-mile bicycle ride. That’s about 5 hours of riding over country roads in Eastern Maryland; beautiful country – corn, soybeans, cattle, and chicken farms. I saw maybe 100 Donald Trump signs, not one Clinton sign.

I was surprised. Maryland is a blue state. However, rural America is for Trump. I will vote for Donald. He would kill the “death tax,” and cut regulations and nominate conservative Supreme Court Justices.

It is O.K. if he can improve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP). However, I think trade agreements have been a big plus for agriculture.

Along with other Secretaries of Agriculture, I will be signing on to a letter to be sent to all Members of Congress encouraging them to pass the TPP agreement in the Lame Duck session after the election. Let’s get it done, even though both Presidential candidates oppose it. U.S. exports increased 10% in the last quarter and, according to Secretary Vilsack, agriculture sales accounted for 75% of the increase.

Whoever wins this election, I can just hope they will find a way to work with the Congress and get some things done. Be sure to vote on Tuesday.

John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill.  If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, visit

More From


Subscribe to receive OFW’s Food & Agriculture World Insights Newsletter.

IT Support by SADOSSecure, Fast Hosting for WordPress