I knew I was mad about this farm bill that was just passed over President Bush’s veto. I knew it because it is a perfect example of waste…huge, bloated government waste, and subsidies for rich farmers who are now making more money than they ever have. Both parties love farm bills, and the last one was nearly as bad. But now with grain prices hitting records, the farm bill is just a very sad joke. And the joke’s on us because it will become law soon. $300 billion worth of waste.
You might have noticed that food prices are up…way up. Cotton is up 105%, corn is up 169%, wheat is up an incredible 256%. Yet the farm bill proposed to shovel subsidies at farmers who DON’T NEED THE MONEY!
The WSJ has an editorial today that lists some of the facts. New price supports, or, the minimum price farmers will be paid for crops, have been raised to match this year’s record prices. So if corn, which has never cost as much as it does now, $6 per bushel, goes back down to last year’s price of about $3.25, farmers will get $10 million in subsidies. Sugar farmers get an even sweeter deal: the difference between the world price, $12 per pound, and the guaranteed price of $21. So they will pull in a 75% subsidy, which the editorial states, is a good payoff for the $3 million they gave to House candidates each year. African farmers beg the US and Europeans to stop these subsidies, since they have no chance of ever exporting to us with these giveaways in place that poorer governments can’t provide to truly needy farmers.
You would think that John McCain, Mr. “let’s stop the earmarks and stop the waste” might vote against this bloated bill. No, he’s too busy campaigning to do that. Same with Obama, doesn’t even vote, and claims to support it ‘but not corporate lobbyists…which is what this is.
The whole bill is a massive entitlement that joins existing required spending that could jack up tax rates up to 80% higher in the future. Waste. greed. Special interests, lobbyists. Nothing changes and this whole thing makes me sick.