Sallie James

And a Pony...

In a move that should surprise precisely no-one, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest lobby group for agriculture, this week endorsed an “everything for everyone, all the time” approach to farm policy.

Eric Cantor Sprints After His Bolted Horse

Several Republican congressmen have written to U.S. Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochburg, asking some probing questions about the business plan the bank submitted to Congress last month. They rightly express concern about the bank’s operations and risk management. They also cite the nondiversified portfolio of the bank, with its high reliance on the aircraft sector (which has long been about half of the bank’s exposure) singled out for particular concern. The letter, in short, gives a good indication of where bodies are buried at Ex-Im.

Newsflash: Politicians Pander to Agriculture!

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recently asked each of the presidential candidates to respond to a series of questions about agricultural policy issues. The questions covered farm bill and crop insurance, estate tax, biodiesel, biotechnology, trade, research, regulations, and transportation and infrastructure. The candidates’ responses (full text here) were not exactly models of courageous and principled policymaking.

Candidate Romney Has a Plan for Agriculture

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was campaigning in Iowa yesterday and, inevitably, went native. He –oh, hey, what a coincidence! — also released a 16-page white paper outlining his plan for rural America, which consists of four main ideas:

Agriculture Is Doing So Well (ergo We Must Subsidize It)

Farmer-friendly members of Congress are such a target-rich environment for ridicule when it comes to poor agriculture policy that it would be a full-time job just blogging about their utterances. So I try to spare you, most of the time. (You’re welcome.) But occasionally a quote passes my desk that is so ridiculous that I just have to share.

When Bipartisanship is a Dirty Word

In a blog post I wrote about two years ago, I said “Usually when I hear that a policy proposal has bipartisan support, I instinctively check for my wallet.” At that time I was lauding a bipartisan proposal to shut the USDA’s market access program (although it seems that idea didn’t get much traction) under the heading “When Bipartisanship Is Good News.”

Save the EWG Farm Subsidy Database!

When the Environmental Working Group released the 2011 edition of its groundbreaking farm subsidy database, they asked for my comment to use in their press release. I was more than happy to do so, and I had this to say:

The USDA: Your One-Stop Shop

Politico yesterday reported that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is upset. According to him, the USDA just don’t get no respect:

The Ratchet Effect, Agriculture Edition

Between the lines of a front-page Wall Street Journal article about farm subsidies [$] is an instructive example of the ratchet effect:

Are Farm Subsidies Progressive?

An economist in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois posted an interesting entry on the FarmDocDaily blog yesterday, claiming that farm subsidies flowing to the biggest farms is a sign of progressivity.

Pages

Subscribe to Sallie James