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More Farm Follies
Washington Post ^ | 10 December 2007 | staff

Posted on 12/10/2007 6:55:03 AM PST by shrinkermd

AFTER MUCH arcane political wrangling and procedural disputation, the Senate began debating a new five-year farm bill on Friday. Much of the price tag, projected at $288 billion, is accounted for by food stamps and other nutrition programs, but tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to farmers are included, too. Notwithstanding the fact that crop prices are surging and farmers are doing well, supporters of the bill, both in the Senate and the House, are hoping to enact this gigantic Christmas present with as little fuss as possible.

...Under the pending farm bill, the U.S. sugar industry would get a 10-year, $1 billion program to prop up sugar prices by requiring the Agriculture Department to buy up excess production and resell it to ethanol producers at a deep discount. The idea is to protect American growers from Mexican competition after the North American Free Trade Agreement is fully phased in. The effect is to raise prices for every food that contains sugar. This illogical and wasteful plan passed the House thanks in part to $1.5 million in widely distributed campaign contributions from nine sugar farm or refinery groups, according to a Nov. 3 story in The Post by Mr. Morgan.

...As Mr. Morgan showed in a Sept. 28 article, a "direct payment" program for corn continues to shovel millions of dollars to farmers even as they reap the benefits of high crop and land prices -- which are in turn made possible by a separate federal program to subsidize corn-based ethanol. Mr. Morgan met an Iowa corn farmer who is wealthy enough to have pledged a $1.75 million donation to his alma mater, but, together with his two brothers, still receives $45,000 a year from Washington.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: farm; program; subsidies
Suggested solution: ...Sens. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) have proposed a substitute farm bill that eliminates cash subsidies in favor of a crop insurance program that actually would protect needy farmers at a much lower cost.
1 posted on 12/10/2007 6:55:04 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

Farmland here, is selling for $6000/ acre.

No listings anymore, all tillable land is now sold at auction.

BTW, this is thie first time in quite a while, that my Senator Lugar has made ANY sense.


2 posted on 12/10/2007 6:59:59 AM PST by digger48
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cue the whiny leftist john mellenballs song about farmers, and scarecrows, and other drivel....


3 posted on 12/10/2007 7:02:05 AM PST by raygunfan
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To: raygunfan
National food security demands action:

At the debate, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani handled the question and repudiated those votes. While both are champing at the bit to become commander in chief and take on al Qaeda, neither seems to have the backbone to stand up to Iowa's corn farmers at a time when the price of corn is at a record level and farm income in 2007 will likely exceed 2006's level by nearly 50 percent.

Messrs. Romney and Giuliani lack the political fortitude to curtail an especially egregious farm-subsidy program — "direct payments," more than $5 billion of which will automatically be paid each year to qualifying farm businesses irrespective of farm prices or farm income, according to pending legislation. Mr. Romney incoherently argued, "We don't want to find ourselves with regards to our food supply in the same kind of position we're in with regards to our energy supply."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071204/EDITORIAL/112040002

4 posted on 12/10/2007 7:42:43 AM PST by secretagent
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To: shrinkermd

I thought Lautenberg was dead?


5 posted on 12/10/2007 8:03:18 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (No buy China!!)
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To: VeniVidiVici

He’s real bad on gun rights, too!


6 posted on 12/10/2007 8:21:37 AM PST by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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