The Farm Bill

Greg Mankiw has an interesting post relating to this year's farm bill. How wealthy farmers wield such political clout? Sure, the donate to both parties, but is it really so much? Especially appalling is the sugar subsidy. Why has our government decided that we should pay a higher-than-market price for sugar and sugar-containing products? I've seen estimates that the cost of sugar in the US is twice what the the market would have it. I remember a 60 minutes episode, I'm guessing 20 years ago, which blamed much of it on the political operations of a single family, the Fanjuls. Sweet deal for them.

Note also that some excellent-sounding provisions suggested by President Bush have been removed. Such as this one:
Under current law, US food assistance for hungry people around the world must be spent purchasing US crops. The President proposed to allow up to 25 percent of US global food assistance to be spent purchasing food from local farmers (in the country where the people are starving). This allows US dollars to be spent purchasing food, rather than paying transportation costs. It also encourages the
development of farming infrastructure in these countries.

The Farm Bill is all politics. Blame and shame to both parties, but I credit the President at least for trying.

I'm l00king forward to the annual Medical Bill once the government takes over health care.