Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Harvesting Cash: Obama Wants to End Some Farm Subsidies. How About Ending All Farm Subsidies?

CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to cut billions of dollars from wasteful government programs as he sought to reassure Americans anxious about a growing mountain of debt and a faltering economy


"We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness or exist solely because of the power of a politician, lobbyist or interest group," Obama said. An obvious example, Obama said, were reports of crop subsidies to farmers who make more than $2.5 million per year.

MP: That's a good start Mr. Obama, but what about ending subsidies for farmers who make more than $0 per year?


11 Comments:

At 11/25/2008 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry Kudlow just mentioned your blog on the show. Glad to see you are getting noticed.

Faithful Reader

 
At 11/25/2008 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting and encouraging. Obama previously voted FOR these subsidies.

I am glad to see that he understands the foolishness of the subsidies - using taxpayer money to pay farmers to produce less so that food prices can be higher for those same taxpayers.

 
At 11/25/2008 8:02 PM, Anonymous thomasblair said...

His example is a series of payments to farmers making more than $2.5m/yr. The total of the payments? $49m.

$49m is probably less than the cumulative rounding errors in the federal budget.

This is worthy of exemplification? Color me unimpressed.

 
At 11/25/2008 8:03 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Umm, thats not politically realistic Mark.

 
At 11/25/2008 8:11 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Farm subsidies are yet another remnant of the FDR New Deal bad economics.

If Obama wants a new New Deal let him start with a clean slate and dump the economic distortions left over from the old New Deal.

 
At 11/25/2008 8:43 PM, Blogger StrasserTalk said...

Mark,

I must say that one with whom we are very familiar, has made more money over the years from government farm loans and subsidies and laughs about their stupidity. Is he going to say 'no' to the "free" handout?

The wasteful spending of the federal government has and continues to be truly a travesty.

Concern now is how many farmers (corn/ethanol) are going to go bankrupt as VeraSun?

 
At 11/25/2008 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US government IS the economy, were broke but hey we still got checks. May as well keep the farm subsidies this borrowed foreign money will never be paid back with anything other then a printing press.

 
At 11/25/2008 10:37 PM, Blogger Arman said...

>You would be surprised at how many 0% loans, grants, and funding is going around.<
yeah, right!
>using taxpayer money to pay farmers to produce less so that food prices can be higher for those same taxpayers.<
You miss the point! The focus is to kill old federal programs that have long outlived their usefulness in order to reduce the government bureaucracy... not to cut food production out of all federal support.
If you LIKE the move, why not ask why it wasn't done under republican regimes, rather than complain that it is the right direction but far short of YOUR goal (that has always been ignored by politicians of all stripes)

 
At 11/25/2008 10:56 PM, Blogger John Thacker said...

If you LIKE the move, why not ask why it wasn't done under republican regimes, rather than complain that it is the right direction but far short of YOUR goal (that has always been ignored by politicians of all stripes)

That's easy. A bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats (more Democrats than Republicans, on balance, but enough of either) voted to maintain them. The Bush Administration pushed every year to cut off payments to rich farmers; the Senate laughed.

There are only a few who are really good on farm subsidies, such as Sen. Dick Lugar of IN or Sen. McCain. When he was in the Senate, Sen. Obama was certainly part of the problem, not the solution.

 
At 11/26/2008 12:35 AM, Blogger Arman said...

All the inaction of the last 20 years blamed on the partisan makeup of the last 2 years!
And YOU probably don't even perceive the hypocrisy of this.

 
At 11/26/2008 11:28 AM, Blogger John Thacker said...

All the inaction of the last 20 years blamed on the partisan makeup of the last 2 years!

Isn't that what you're doing, Arman, asking "why wasn't it done under Republican regimes?" I don't think anyone disputes that it's a bipartisan problem. On the whole, there are more Republicans good on farm subsidies than Democrats, but there are some impressive Democrats as well (like Ron Kind of Wisconsin.) But on balance there tends to be a pro-subsidy majority, with many members in both parties, as I said.

Still, in the last two years there was a bill passed in the House but killed in the Senate that would have prohibited payments to farmers with incomes over $750,000. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) was instrumental in killing it.

And it's still a fact that Sen. Lugar and Sen. McCain are good on farm subsidies, and that even Bush as President was much better than Obama as Senator. Hopefully Obama as President will be better than Obama the Senator and Obama the candidate on this issue.

 

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