Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some lobbying groups support Bush's vow to veto the Farm Bill, but they are badly outnumbered

President Bush should keep his promise to veto the Farm Bill, and Congress should not override him, because its payment limits would still funnel most subsidy dollars to the richest farmers, among other reasons, opponents of the bill said today.

The bill would ban subsidies to anyone with more than $500,000 of annual non-farm adjusted gross income per year and end direct payments to anyone with an AGI of more than $750,000 a year from any source. An amendment by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, would have imposed a "hard cap," limiting subsidy recipients to $200,000 per year to anyone from all sources. The cap had a majority of votes in the Senate, but failed "because a procedural rule required the amendment to pass by at least 60 votes," writes Peter Shinn of Brownfield Network.

The Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs focused on the subsidy limit at a press conference held by foes of the bill. Oxfam America said its objections "are more broad-based, involving not only payment limits, but reducing subsidies generally and increasing cash-based spending on food aid," Shinn reports. "The National Wildlife Federation also came out Tuesday in opposition . . . largely because the measure included only a watered-down version of the so-called sod-saver program aimed at keeping native grasslands out of agricultural production."

But these groups are clearly in the lobbying minority. The National Farmers Union "said 557 groups with widely divergent priorities had come out in support of the pending farm bill," Shinn writes. "NFU President Tom Buis said the diversity of groups backing the new farm bill argued for a strong vote in favor of the measure." (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it might be a good idea to speak as neighbors with the wealthy farmers. Remind them that America is a place where people can be genuinely free BECAUSE we are able to till our own soil and tend our own livestock. Farming is America's heart.

To the farmers who benefit,

As is true of most businesses, some farmers have had better years than others and now the government has come along to turn farming into just another confounded labyrinth of bureaucracy. It is now no different than welfare. The only ones who make money do so on the backs of millions of others. Is that really the "farm" you want to be remembered running? Had it been handed to your father and grandfather that way? How will you have the guts to show your children the ropes after years of having seemed so decent? You are the ones who have to veto this bill. As of this writing, it has already passed. America, the true America needs you to stand up to this and be what farmers have always been--neighbors, friends and family in the truest sense.
It's up to you. How rich do you need to be in this life? How poor will you truly be in the end?