Sowing More Big Government with the Farm Bill by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, M.D. (R-TX)Submitted by lastmovement on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 03:15
Recently Congress sent the latest Farm Bill to the president. The bill features brand new federal programs, expansion of existing subsidies, more food stamps and more foreign food aid. This bill hits the taxpayer hard, while at the same time ensuring food prices will remain elevated. The president vetoed the bill, citing concerns over its costs and subsidies for the wealthy in a time of high food prices and record farm income. Nevertheless, this over-reaching, government-expanding Farm Bill will soon be law.
The truth is most farmers simply want honest pay for honest work. However, if the government is providing competing farms with advantages, and one wants to remain a farmer, one must seek a proportional advantage from government. It is a difficult position for the farmer. Some are better at qualifying for taxpayers’ largesse than others as evidenced by the fact that more than 60% of the subsidies go to just 10% of recipients, edging out the small family farm. This entire system is unfair and demoralizing. It disproportionately benefits big agribusiness at the expense of struggling family farms.
Third world countries also lose with these continued government manipulations. Agricultural subsidies lead to overproduction, which leads to foreign food aid as a form of dumping. By “dumping” government-created agricultural surpluses, agrarian economies are artificially kept in a constant state of economic depression. The would-be third world farmer cannot compete with “free” grain, thus he and his countrymen remain perpetual beggars rather than competitive producers. Also, by keeping food prices high, we keep more of our own citizens dependent on government food stamps, instead of paying fair market prices for food.