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The farm bill: So much so wrong

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Saturday, June 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

How broken Washington truly is came to a head Thursday when the House rejected the five-year, multibillion-dollar farm bill. And no, we're not talking about the politics of it all. Neither are we bemoaning the failure of an overall lousy piece of legislation. We're talking about our representatives' fundamental failure to discern what's right versus what's stupid.

The reauthorization measure failed, supposedly, over concerns that not only were cuts to the food stamp program too steep but a requirement that recipients either work or look for work was too onerous. Never mind that food stamps have become a growth industry in the Obama administration's entitlement economy, something it, and in a most bizarre fashion, touts as contributing to economic growth. And God forbid that anyone would have the temerity to ask those receiving public assistance to look for work.

Insanely, a really abhorrent measure — the latest price-fixing scheme for milk — was considered to be just creamy-dreamy to House members. But considering the United States is a net exporter of dairy products, why is government involved at all? Actually, that's a question that should be asked about every farm product.

The trouble is that Washington has perverted farm markets so thoroughly and for so long that virtually no one has any idea what a real farm marketplace is like. Government's interventionist farm policy artificially props up prices that promote overproduction that suppresses prices that then “require” more propping up.

It's daft. It's idiocy. It's Washington. And it has to stop.

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