The farm bill doesn't even keep its other promise: saving family farms.
It's why although Nebraska corn farmer Mike Korth received about half a million dollars in subsidies, he's still against the farm bill. "We sold this on the fact that this is helping the family farmer and the small beginning farmer. It's not. It's hurting them."
That's because most subsidies go to those that are best at manipulating government: the agribusiness giants. Small farms can't compete.
A Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City study found that the more farm aid a county gets, the more likely it is to lose population.
So not only do farm subsidies cost every taxpayer $550 per year, they also raise food prices by paying farmers not to grow certain crops. Other crops are subsidized and exported, destroying the livelihoods of poor farmers in the Third World.
"This is just a crazy system," said the Cato Institute's David Boaz (www.cato.org). "It's left over from the 1930s, left over from the Depression. And it's a great example of how nothing is as permanent as a temporary government program."
Of course, without subsidies, some farms would go out of business. That's OK, says Walter Williams. It's the creative destruction that makes America strong.
"The guy who delivered ice to my house, he doesn't have a job because we have refrigerators. We're better off. We would have been held back if we had tried to save his job."
I said to Congresswoman Jackson Lee, "If this works so well, why don't we just subsidize everything?"
Her answer? "You don't want to push us."
How frightening is that?
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