“Stepping Up” Analysis of Tax Policy Reform on The Rice Stuff Podcast

Number 27 superimposed over photo of combine and grain cart in mature rice field
Learn how tinkering with the tax code may impact agriculture
Aug 10, 2021
ARLINGTON, VA – Ever since Ben Franklin remarked that “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes,” the government has been tinkering with the tax code and taxpayers are often left scratching their heads.  Why should this year be any different?  

A new study by the Agricultural & Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University found proposed changes to the U.S. tax code could have a devastating impact on U.S. farms.  The study’s author, Dr. Bart Fischer, formerly chief economist for the House Ag Committee and now co-director of the AFPC and an assistant professor at A&M, joins The Rice Stuff podcast to unpack his study and the various proposals circulating around Washington.

“Taxes are one of those government programs everyone loves to hate, but taxes allow the government to pay for vital services, it’s striking the balance between taxing and spending and who pays that is the multi-trillion dollar challenge,” said Michael Klein, the show’s cohost.  “Dr. Fischer found several of the new tax proposals would have quite an adverse effect on agriculture, but at the same time, the government needs to replace resources spent dealing with the global pandemic.  It’s a tough spot.”

Fischer explained how some tax reformers would treat stepped up basis, capital gains taxes, and the inheritance or death tax.

“There are a lot of moving parts, it can get very confusing, and tuning out can be an attractive option,” Klein said.  “The cynic in me thinks that’s exactly what some policymakers are counting on, which is why I think the main takeaway from Dr. Fischer’s comments were, ‘get informed and stay involved.’”

Klein and co-host Lesley Dixon also talk about some bizarre taxes that governments have tried to implement and air grievances the late Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had with the Internal Revenue Service and the tax code.

New episodes of The Rice Stuff are published on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and can be found wherever you get your podcasts or online at https://thericestuffpodcast.com/. Please like, subscribe, leave a good review, and recommend the podcast to others as well.