Regulation and taxes are like two blades on a pair of scissors cutting holes in the family budget. With dairy products, a federal regulatory cartel acts to keep the prices of milk, cheese, and related products artificially high.
It looks like farm subsidy reform is unlikely for another few years. Senator Blanche Lincoln has been selected the new head of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Dow Jones notes: “Lincoln is a two-term moderate Democrat who described herself Wednesday as a ‘farmer’s daughter.’”
No, this headline and story is not brought to you by The Onion.
The latest proof that there’s nothing more permanent than a temporary federal program:
As drought forces families in the West to shorten their showers and let their lawns turn brown, two Depression-era government programs have been paying some of the nation’s biggest farms hundreds of millions of dollars to grow water-thirsty crops in what was once desert.
My sympathy for this farmer lies somewhere between that which I have for Bernie Madoff and Ted Stevens:
Jim Hansen, a 69-year-old cotton grower in California’s Central Valley, said his family business would crumble if the government took away low-cost water and the nearly $1.7 million in crop payments he received in 2007 and 2008.
For more on the insanity that is federal farm policy and why the USDA needs to be downsized and/or done away with, click here.
America’s supposed hunger epidemic is catching up to crocodiles in the sewers as the most popular urban legend. The difference is that the hunger epidemic is being promoted by the nation’s major media.
News of the intellectual demise of the Republican Party comes almost daily. In its coverage of the bipartisan vote in favor of the farm bill (which overrode a well-deserved Bush veto) the Washington Post included this reaction:
You don’t have to be a libertarian to be amazed at the way the government’s many tentacles often work at cross-purposes. The Wall Street Journal reports today on the U.S. milk industry:
A news story and op-ed in the Washington Post recently noted that about 35 million Americans, or more than 10% of the population, are “food insecure.” It sounds like there is a massive underclass of people in the nation who are so poor that they can’t get enough to eat and are going hungry. No doubt that is the idea that many articles want to put across on the reader.
I blogged about the arrogance of some members of Congress during last week’s farm debate in the House.
Let me add to Sallie’s observations on the House farm bill battle.
I watched the action on CSPAN over the pro-reform Kind/Flake amendment and was really struck by the arrogance of the anti-reform members. They repeatedly said essentially: “How dare members like Flake criticize the hard work of the Agriculture Committee — he’s not on the committee, he’s not a farmer, and so what does he know about farming!”