May 19, 2008

The Examiner on the Farm Bill

Via Insty, some harsh—and well-deserved—words about the "Farm Bill":

Pathetic. Craven. Irresponsible. Unprincipled. Those and similar adjectives apply to every member of Congress who voted for the bloated, anti-consumer piece of legislative corruption known as the Food and Energy Conservative Act of 2008 a k a as “the farm bill.” President Bush has promised to veto the bill. To put it plainly, everybody in Congress who votes to override the coming Bush veto should be retired come November because they will have voted for a measure that is nothing more -- or less -- than a $300 billion giveaway of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. This is especially true for conservative Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who brag about their fiscal rectitude.

We’ve already editorialized that the bill is a budget buster even without the grab bag of spending gimmicks. We’ve noted that it will continue to give subsidies to millionaires who actually live in Manhattan and who might not even use their “farmland” for food crops. (Those subsidies will come from tax dollars confiscated from millions of working families of four making, say, $35,000. How is that fair?) But we actually understated the expense and duplicity of providing retroactive “disaster relief” for crop losses for which the 2002 farm bill previously covered in advance through federal crop insurance. As it turns out, the bill also keeps the crop insurance going forward, plus provides $3.8 billion in advance for any unforeseen “disasters” that may, uh, crop up.

On these pages last Friday, columnist Tim Carney described how the bill increases subsidies for domestic sugar growers that, combined with restrictions on imported sugar, will drive up U.S. food prices substantially -- and, even worse, how it provides for the government to buy “excess” sugar at high prices, then re-sell it to ethanol facilities at as little as one-tenth the price.

There also are inexcusable local-interest flimflams such as a $250 million tax credit for a private land sale in Montana and a provision to “sell” national forest land, necessitating a shifting of the Appalachian Trail, to benefit a Vermont ski resort. Worse -- and this is brand new -- House and Senate negotiators “air-dropped” several expensive provisions into the bill that neither chamber had voted on, including $170 million for salmon fisheries in California.

Emphasis mine, just because I'm so pissed, and I suspect my lib friends may skim that passage; I do want them to grasp how hyper-destructive this bill is.

Please find out if your congress-scum and senate-idiots voted for this thing, and let them know how you feel about it.

Let me put it this way: the bill is so egregious, President Bush even found his pen: he plans to veto it. Most of the time, he can't spend money fast enough.

The pathetic thing is that as it stands, the our fine legislators can override the veto. The ray of hope being that we can kick them out in November.

Posted by Attila Girl at May 19, 2008 08:14 AM | TrackBack
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