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Blog

    Farm Bill Follies

    05/21/2008

    The farm bill is pretty obviously a bipartisan debacle, one of those only-in-Washington mutual spendathons limited only by the -- wait, at $700 billion over the next ten years, it appears to have been limited by basically nothing.

    Well, at least it's money well spent, right?  America's farmers deserve our support.  Maybe, but not like this. Heritage's Brian Reidl has seven reasons to avoid the farm bill. Among them?

    Farm subsidies are intended to help struggling family farmers. Instead, they harm those farmers by excluding them from most subsidies; financ­ing the consolidation of small, individually owned farms into business conglomerates; and raising land values to levels that prevent young people from entering farming.

    Farm subsidies allegedly are intended to be con­sumer- and taxpayer-friendly, but they cost Americans billions of dollars each year in higher taxes and higher food costs.

    And guess what: Congress couldn't even manage the passage of the bill properly:

    The House voted 316-108 Wednesday evening to override the president's veto of the Farm Bill - or did it?

    As Politico's David Rogers explains, 100 Republicans and 216 Democrats voted to override despite the fact that a clerical error had caused one of the farm bill's 15 titles to be dropped from the version of the bill Bush nixed.

    After talking with parliamentarians Wednesday night, House Majority Leader STENY HOYER said Congress will probably need to pass a newly numbered version of the bill today, get Bush to veto it again, and then start the process of trying to override the veto again.

    As they say: Whoops!