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Dobson says that cutting spending may mean shutting the government down

On Monday congressional candidate Caroleene Dobson spoke with the Alabama Gazette about her campaign and what she would do if elected to the United States House of Representatives.

One of the biggest issues facing the country moving forward is the $35 trillion debt and the unwillingness of Congress and both Democratic and Republican administrations to live within their means.

"We have got to cut spending," Dobson told the Gazette in a phone interview. "We are headed to a financial cliff."

Typically Republicans talk about cutting spending. Democrats refuse. A deadline comes and then the Republicans and Democrats agree to borrow more money and both sides split up the money for their favored projects, sending the bill to the next generation.

"We don't have a revenue problem," Dobson said. "We have to cut spending. That may mean shutting the government down."

Dobson said that Social Security and other benefits would still be paid during a partial government shutdown as the GOP negotiated with the Biden Whitehouse,

Republicans are all hopeful that former President Donald J. Trump (R) is elected in November and Republicans take control of both Houses of Congress. The Gazette asked Dobson if Republicans are prepared for what happens if they take Congress; but Joseph R. Biden is re-elected.

"I believe can and should be impeached," Dobson said.

Dobson said that a Republican Congress could still govern with Biden "or whoever replaces him" in that scenario.

"It will up to the Congress to use the power of the purse," Dobson explained. "We can extend the Trump tax cuts and repeal the death tax" for farmers and businesses.

"I hope and pray that Donald Trump is reelected," Dobson said.

Dobson comes from a farm family and is well versed on agricultural issues.

"The death tax is huge for farmers," Dobson said. "40% of farms are going to change hands in the next twenty years" as they retire or die as a larger number of current farmers are in their sixties or seventies.

"Farmers are typically 90% illiquid," explained Dobson. "They have big valuations" (in land, livestock, and equipment); "but not much cash in the bank." When a farmer dies, on paper very wealthy, that estate is hit with a massive estate tax bill and the only way the family can pay that is through selling equipment, land, and livestock diminishing the farm's future viability or even going out of business altogether.

The United State has spent over $100 billion to arm Ukraine in its war against Russia and appears poised to increase that substantially in coming weeks at the urging of the Biden Administration. The Gazette asked Dobson about Ukraine.

"My position is that we have to protect our borders first," Dobson said. "Any aid to defend Ukraine's borders should only be considered after we have secured our borders."

Dobson said that Ukraine should present a plan, "With a realistic endgame," and said that can't be for a decade long war.

The Gazette asked Dobson if we should de-schedule marijuana as a class 1 drug at the federal level?

"We have got to approach the issue with consensus," Dobson said. "In state like Colorado where they have made recreational marijuana legal it has not discernably decreased illegal drugs any."

The number of farms and farmers in the United States has been declining for decades. In 2022, there were 2.00 million U.S. farms, which is down from 2.20 million in 2007. For a long time the decline in the number of farms meant that farms just got bigger. Now that is no longer the case as the acreage in farmland has continued to decline, with total farm acres dropping from 915 million acres in 2012 to 893 million acres in 2022. We have the smallest beef cattle herd in 70 years and dairies, small hog farms, and vegetable farms are disappearing from the rural landscape as aging farmers retire or pass away. How do we reverse these trends and find a new generation of farmers to feed a U.S. population that has increased, largely due to high immigration rates, 50% since 1982? Are we just doomed to importing larger and larger quantities of the food that we eat?

"Americans as a whole do not appreciate what farmers do for this country," Dobson said.

Dobson said that the tax structure hurts farmers abilities to pass the farm to the next generations.

"Most farmers are land rich and cash poor due to the rising evaluation of real estate," Dobson said. She favors eliminating the estate tax.

Dobson said that farmers are also harmed by "over-regulation" by the federal government. "Farmers are the original conservationists."

Farms in addition to feeding the country also serve as wildlife sanctuaries.

Dobson said that she also supports efforts to train and recruit the next generation of farmers like the ag academy in Pike County.

"Becoming energy independent again is also important as fuel and fertilizer" are high inputs for farmers. "Our diesel costs were up 140% on our small operation. If we had a larger operation it would be even more costly."

Dobson is a real estate attorney, wife, mother, Harvard graduate, and serves on the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Southeastern Livestock Exposition.

She is running against former State Senator Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) in the Republican primary runoff on Tuesday.

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