Friday, June 21, 2013

The Path Forward on the Farm Bill

Daniel Horowitz (Diary) |
Today, GOP leadership suffered a stunning defeat as 62 Republicans voted against the 5-year farm bill (H.R. 1947), which locks in the record baseline of food stamp spending and creates multiple new agriculture subsidy programs. A handful of them voted against it because it cut too much spending, and others like Bill Shuster voted no because they are facing potential primary challenges (Shuster voted for the 2008 bill). But this is a strong showing, as it is a dynamic none of us would have ever predicted several years ago.
Some Republicans are complaining that because of the conservative revolt we will now continue on the status quo with direct farm subsidies. But they fail to understand that the new price support programs and shallow loss coverage that were created by this bill would have been more expensive and represent worse market distortions than direct subsidies. It’s better to reauthorize the status quo than to pass a long-term bill that creates even more problems and precludes real reforms for another 5 years…..But instead of avoiding the deleterious effects of the Agriculture Act of 1949 by growing government, why don’t we just repeal the dang law?  In a sane world, both houses of Congress would convene and repeal this inane and outdated law within a few minutes by unanimous consent. That way we could debate a long-term farm bill without having the sword of the 1949 law brandished over our necks and forcing Congress to rush through bad legislation.......ToRead More…

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