Monday, May 06, 2002

Even the arch-conservative Washington Times is unimpressed with the piggish farm bill currently flying through the Senate:

The law will enrich each full-time farmer by an average of $1 million in subsidies and inflated food prices over the next decade.... These soon-to-be Mercedes drivers already "earn" $64,347 annually from their agrarian estates, which have an average net worth of $564,000.

That's small potatoes to the top ten percent of big farmers and agribusinesses, who received three-quarters of farm subsidies last year. Fortune 500 companies with subsidy-fattened bottom lines included John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance ($134,318), Chevron ($80,637) and Archer Daniels Midland ($9,728). Men of the soil who reaped similar subsidies (despite their dubious ability to distinguish between dogs and donkeys) included rancher Ted Turner ($134,556), NBA star Scottie Pippen ($26,315), former Enron CEO Ken Lay ($6,019) and 15 members of Congress.

To which we may add the effect of the protectionist subsidy regime on third-world agriculture, not to mention the consumers inconvenienced or worse. (I suspect that most of my readers won't even notice, but there are plenty of people in this country poor enough to have it make a real difference to their diets).

But the WashTimes doesn't know what to do about it. May I respectfully suggest that the Republican farm state Congresscritters largely responsible for this exercise in pork ranching should be put out to pasture?

via Tapped.

(Update: Paul Krugman shows his partisan stripes by going after Democrats pushing the bill in the Senate)


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