Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congress is Hungry for Pork

Fire of Liberty

Amity Shlaes has a good column over at that points out how members of the Senate Agriculture Committee(and members of the House) are still in love with pork and are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that their state gets a hefty bit of the expensive farm subsidies in the current farm bill. The thing that bothers me about this love affair with such pork is that more and more of taxpayers money is being doled out to various "green" energy companies and massive farms rather than going to the everyday farm. As a free-market conservative, who prefers the market to make or break a business/enterprise, I got to say that offering such farm welfare to large companies and entities is not what members of Congress should be handing out. Here's a look:

As Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute points out, the Democrats won the House promising to help average families. ``Now they have a chance to prove it,'' he says, by ``ending benefits for wealthy corporate farmers.''

President George W. Bush proposed restricting farm-subsidy eligibility to individuals earning less than $200,000 annually, and Senator Harkin has spoken in favor of the concept of such payment limits.

But Congressman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, his counterpart at the House Agriculture Committee, has not, which means, as Harkin knows, such limits aren't likely to become law.

The Environmental Working Group, a green nonprofit that monitors subsidies, recently made public an enticing database of 1.5 million names at The site allows visitors to search for the biggest subsidy recipients by name or zip code, which makes it fun to root around.

Given the weak will of both parties, the best we all can do is get comfortable in the pen.

Thankfully, Amity Shlaes has provided a useful piece which shows us the dependency and corrosive nature that these subsidies pose to the recipients as well as the market-place. So check it out.

*Here's George Will's take on farm subsidies. According to Will, it looks like Senator Lugar and other like minded politicians are working hard at reforming the whole pork-fest. I just hope they accomplish their efforts.

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