The Farm Bill

Yesterday, our Senator from Colorado, Ken Salazar, once again got it wrong. He said, “President Bush’s veto of the farm bill is an insult to rural America and would hurt all those who benefit from the food our farmers provide.”

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Pork by any other name would smell just as foul.” America’s farmers can hardly get any more crops into the ground and they are reaping huge profits off those crops, and they deserve every penny. A farmer’s life is hard; they deserve the profit they earn.

However, I see no reason for the massive subsidies promised every year, in some cases, subsidies to NOT plant. According to the Associated Press, $40 billion is to go to farmers for subsidies, $30 billion is to also go to farmers to NOT plant, and the rest goes to nutrition programs such as food stamps, etc. As I understand it, this is the government’s way of regulating how much of what crop is made available. What happened to the governance of the marketplace, and the law of supply and demand? The federal government has been manipulating the agricultural market for decades. It is time they stop!

We are looking at a $290 BILLION tax on the American public. We are being taxed into the ground as it is and the concept of paying one segment of our workforce to do the job (or not do the job) they have chosen is ludicrous. The farmers are working for the consumer, just as the plumber or the carpenter. I have yet to see any subsidies for plumbers and carpenters to NOT go to work. That would be called welfare.

I fully understand that there is a segment of our society that needs a hand up. Some school children must have subsidized breakfasts and lunches or they will go hungry. The question is why parents are not held accountable for this lack of care? Where are the mandatory education and/or training programs for those who cannot care for their children? Do not misunderstand me; I know that there are some who are not physically or mentally able to accomplish this. These folks need whatever assistance they can get. But isn’t that a state concern? Where in the Constitution is this type of aid authorized?

I have written our Congressman and two Senators to urge them to vote against this pork.

As always, I welcome your comments/discussion.

2 thoughts on “The Farm Bill

  1. Agricultural subsidies have an impact on immigration.

    South of the US border (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, etc), you could have a similar farm to a US farm with similar efficiency. In the US that farm would be subsidized, south of the border it would not be subsidized. The same farm that might lose money south of the border can make money north of the border because of the subsidies.

    Workers from south of the border will chose not to work on their unsubdized farms and will come north where the money is better.

    Economic decisions never operate in a vaccuum and they can often cause unforseen impacts.

  2. Anonymous,
    I see a couple of discrepancies in your discussion. First, we already import a LOT of farm products from south of the border. While I cannot say for sure, I’m fairly certain that they are not subsidised, but they find a fair and willing market in the US. If they were not making a profit, we would not see their goods.
    The other discrepancy is that farmers do not come to the US to receive subsidies. That would involve them buying the farms here. The farm workers that come to the US are just that, workers, legal or illegal. Our Colorado legislature has passed HB 1325, and sent it to the governor for signature. This bill establishes a nonimmigrant agricultural seasonal worker pilot program to bring in agricultural workers. This will get the farmers the help they need and give the federal government a vehicle to keep track of those workers entering the country for work. (OK, that is a shameless plug for the bill)

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