Farm bill mess
Tucked away in the misnomer that is the American Taxpayer Relief Act is a nine-month extension of the 2008 farm bill, which as it exists provides no relief for U.S. consumers and is overly ripe for reform.
Left unchanged, this mess will cost taxpayers almost $1 trillion over the next 10 years, according to The Heritage Foundation.
Congress can start the process by separating out the $85 billion food stamp program and other nutritional services that take cover under farm subsidies. Only then can lawmakers begin to prune this bill.
Topping the cut list should be the “direct payments” program, which ludicrously provides subsidies to farmers of certain commodities “depending on their historical acreage and yield rather than price or production,” writes Heritage scholar Emily J. Goff. The primary beneficiaries are large, profitable farms, which already have record net income.
Another taxpayer drain is the Dairy Product Price Support Program, which (contrary to all the fear-mongering over future milk prices) perverts prices by manipulating supply and pads farmers' income, Ms. Goff reports.
It's past time to plow under this nonsense and prepare to plant anew.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sunday pops
- Obama’s trumpet: The spittle strategy
- The Box
- Saturday essay: Mother’s message
- Defending America: A rigged rifle test?
- Death on the range: A fatal lapse
- Sunday pops
- The Box
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- The IRS scandal: Do the Lois Lerner emails still exist?
- Teens & sleep: Go to bed!