Inequities in the Farm Bill

Well, they did it. Congress passed the bloated Farm Bill, President Bush vetoed it, and the Senate overrode the veto. Now they have discovered that Bush vetoed the wrong bill, and the right one will come up for a vote this week. Bush will probably veto it again and the Senate will attempt another override.

So I guess I will go through another few days of wishing that someone would have the good sense to break this bill into components and not have the assistance for the poor in terms of food stamps and food surplus distribution attached to the same bill that gives corporate farmers thousands of dollars that they don’t need.

Oh, they think they need it because the hundreds of thousands of dollars they clear each year just aren’t enough. Compare that with the small family-owned farm that sometimes can’t even feed that family. Where is the help for a farmer who has three bad years in a row and has no capital to buy seed to plant another crop? He can’t even qualify for food stamps because he owns equipment worth thousands of dollars. But even with those assets, the bank won’t lend him any money to get him through the winter until he can try again next spring.

If the government really wanted to help the American farmer and not just the ones rich enough to support the lobby in Washington, the current Farm Bill would be trashed and a new one written. The new one would not allow for a situation where a farm owned by the same family for generations would have to be sold before the farmer’s wife could qualify for Medicare to pay for dialysis. Or another farmer’s home would not have to be mortgaged because the bottom fell out of the pig market just before his were ready to go and he didn’t make enough to pay his feed bill.

Nor would any farmer have to face the ultimate humiliation of not being able to feed his family.

It shouldn’t be happening….

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