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On behalf of nearly 850,000 FreedomWorks members nationwide, I write to urge you to VOTE YES on the Blumenauer/Ryan Farm Program amendment to H.R. 2419, the FY08 Farm Bill. The amendment would create annual limits to farm commodity payments and program benefits. The amendment is a step in the right direction: It increases fiscal discipline and reduces agricultural subsidies while promoting market competition. Specifically, the amendment would create a $40,000 limit on direct payments and overall would limit all farm commodity program payments and benefits to $250,000 per year.
By tightening requirements for active involvement in farming, the Blumenauer/Ryan Amendment would create a significant improvement in the current overreaching and wasteful farm subsidy system. Ideally, the free market and an open competition should determine the prices of our agricultural programs, but a limit on commodity program payments and benefits a step towards reforming our current subsidy system.
It is time Congress acted to reverse course on the current version of the Farm Bill. Placing limits on the size of direct payments and other subsidies signals a clear commitment by Congress to market competition and restrained federal spending. In Federalist 17, Alexander Hamilton warned against intrusive and unhelpful intervention by the national government in agriculture policy. As he said, “the attempt to exercise those powers [federal power in agriculture] would be as troublesome as they were nugatory.” Indeed.
FreedomWorks will count your vote on the Blumenauer/Ryan Farm Program amendment as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard. The FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes Representatives who demonstrate voting records in support of economic freedom.
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