Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Big Oil vs. Big Food/Big Corn

What does Congress do when we have soaring prices for gas and oil, and record profits for oil companies? They propose "windfall profits" taxes, price controls, and "price gouging" laws to prevent "unconscionable pricing."

What does Congress do when we have soaring food prices (see chart above, corn prices have doubled in the last two years, more than twice the 45% increase in gasoline prices), soaring farm land values, and record profits for farmers? They keep giving billions of tax dollars to farmers in the form of subsidies and price supports.

According to this Washington Post article today:

"A House panel voted unanimously yesterday to extend for five years the current system of payments to farmers and rejected a series of proposed changes. The action left in place the system of income supports and guaranteed prices that has cost taxpayers more than $70 billion since 2002."

Yesterday's vote by the House Agriculture subcommittee on general commodities signaled that the farm bloc is geared to defend the subsidies, despite record profits and soaring prices for commodities and farmland."


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