To the Editor,
The House of Representatives recently voted down their version of the “Farm Bill.” This legislation would have covered a five-year period of government expenditures and subsidies (read “corporatism”) of which originally only 20 percent had anything to do with farm programs. The bill deserved to be defeated for many reasons, among which were:
• Nothing in it is within the scope of the government’s authority as spelled out in the Constitution.
• It would have cost almost $1 trillion over the next five years.
• It would provide subsidies to what are in fact businesses – even large, corporate farms and farms owned by wealthy individuals such as Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.
• It subsidized the overseas marketing costs of wealthy companies.
• Although the food stamp portion was carved out and will be voted on separately, it remains to be seen if the new bill will continue the climate of dependency upon government for 1 out of every 6 Americans instead of focusing on reducing the burden government is placing on our economy so that it can recover and employ people, thus allowing them to provide for themselves.
• It included a guaranteed price program as well as a guaranteed revenue arrangement to farmers.
• It subsidized crop insurance programs, an arrangement that only serves to help drive up the soaring costs of this kind of insurance (as government subsidies do to anything else).
• It continued supply restrictions on dairy and sugar production which has kept the prices of these products well above world-averages, thus costing consumers more.
There is more, but this should show that the government needs to butt out of the agriculture business (as well as all others) and allow the farmers, ranchers and dairymen operate their business as any other business so that they can best maximize their profits and serve the consumers not only of America but the world.
Representative Joe Barton, who styles himself as a conservative and an advocate of free-market principles, voted for this bill. As outlined above, this bill was anything but conservative and free-market oriented. We deserve better; we can do better.
GOP Congressional candidate,