In the piece he assess which farm bill programs are actually at risk of losing funding, and demonstrates that the actual harm is minimal to none. Indeed total annual expenditures on all of the “under threat” programs account for less than one percent of total farm bill spending.
Smith explains that Congress should not be steam-rolled into a new, potentially expensive farm bill based minor, short-term interruptions.
He also offers a reminder about how the farm bill reached its current impasse:
"When the House leadership offered an extension of the 2008 farm bill in late July, coupled with the provision of funding for three livestock disaster aid programs, the farm, nutrition program, and environmental lobbies all combined to unanimously reject that option. So the moderately irritating hair-shirt interruptions in a very small number of programs about which farm groups are now complaining is a shirt they have made for themselves."
Vincent H. Smith is a visiting scholar at AEI and an agricultural economist at Montana State University. Learn more about AEI’s American Boondoggle: Fixing the 2012 Farm Bill project at www.AmericanBoondoggle.com.
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