The New Farm Bill
After lengthy you-scratch- my-back & I'll-scratch- yours negotiations,
America's new farm bill is waiting for a presidential signature. The
new bill will cost American taxpayers $570 billion over the next
10 years. There are 300 million Americans. That adds up to $1,900
per man, woman, and child. What a bargain!
According to the Tax Foundation, 130 million Americans file tax
returns, while almost one-third (42.5 million) of those who do
file pay absolutely no tax. If you are one of those who bear
America's tax burden, your share of the farm bill totals $6,514.
Is there anything else you might want to spend $6,514 on?
Two-thirds of the spending will support nutrition programs
such as the bailout given to dairy farmers for their surplus milk,
cheese, and butter. Those dairy products are given to children
as part of USDA's WIC program.
The new bill includes $33 million for a Farmers Market Promotion
Program. Last year, Sunsweet (they grow prunes) received a
$150,000 subsidy to market diced chocolate covered prunes.
Here's my favorite provision. More than $150 million has been
reserved for polluters to clean up their own messes. Much of
the money will be siphoned to dairy farmers in California's
San Joaquin Valley. Subsidies and grants will replace antiquated
diesel irrigation pumps. Monies will be paid to control road
dust which adds to California smog. Last but not least, new
facilities will be constructed to turn orchard clippings into
sawdust rather than burning them.
Good news for moms and dads of vegetarian teens. One billion
dollars will be used to fund a school fruit-and-vegetable snack
program. Who dares to claim that our political leaders do not
invest our money prudently?