Monday, February 10, 2014

Farm subsidies, political leverage, and the ratchet of statism

By Timothy P. Carney
Look at that map of western North Carolina. Most of that chunk of the state -- basically, everything in that map but Asheville and a swath running east from Asheville -- is in the 11th Congressional District.The pea-green area is all national forest. The gray-green area is a national park.  The federal government owns most of the 11th District.
That helps explain why Mark Meadows voted for the farm bill last week.* You see, congressional leaders stuck in the farm bill a provision renewing funding for "payments in lieu of taxes." Federal PILT is, basically, partial compensation for the property taxes states and localities lose because Uncle Sam doesn't pay property taxes.
I call it the statist ratchet. It goes only in one direction.  You see this ratchet in Obamacare, as I wrote in December:…To Read More….

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