Now The Bashing Begins

Kansas Viewpoint

With 2012 Farm Bill hearings on the horizon, the ag detractors gear up

Published on: July 5, 2011
I received an invitation of sorts in my inbox today.

The American Enterprise Institute is offering to teach me "What You Need to Know" about the 2012 Farm Bill. Predictably, the message is payments geared to helping farmers are bad, bad, bad, and worse. They are exceeded in evil only by the idea of subsidizing anything about ethanol, which does not make the cut for the organization's list of environmentally friendly products or renewable fuels.

Coming up July 12-15, the AEI will hold a series of "American Boondoggle Events" in (where else?) Washington, D.C., where all the solution to all these evils will be outlined.

First, we'll hear about the "subsidy myths" used to enrich the huge corporations that we all know have taken all of the farmland away from family farmers. Then we'll move on to the "shucking truth" about ethanol, including the bald-faced lie that "corn-based ethanol has been shown to create more greenhouse gas emissions than oil-based fuels".

We'll move on to "discoveries" about how our ag trade policies are starving the world's poor, how crop insurance subsidies and disaster aid deprive us of the ability to enjoy a "free-market" system of risk management and how sugar programs and dairy supports are driving up the cost of food.

The one shred of reality on the program is a look at the need for more dollars for research and development, which the AEI sees as being funded by cutting other programs.

It's no surprise that ag is the fall guy in this season of cutting anything and everything in the federal budget. The galling thing is that we can assemble so may "experts" with so little real-world awareness of agriculture.