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  • Agriculture

    The Best Plan for Farmers and Ranchers: Free Trade

    Congress is currently fighting over the future of U.S. farm programs. In 2011, taxpayers subsidized farmers to the tune of $10.4 billion in government payments. Imagine if the government had a way to increase payments to farmers while reducing taxpayer subsidies to zero. Such a policy exists. It’s called free … More

    New Whoppers from U.S. Sugar Producers

    According to a recent statement from the American Sugar Alliance: Over the past few weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released three key data points that deserve attention on Capitol Hill and are sure to deflate the Big Candy lobby’s attempt to gut U.S. sugar policy and outsource … More

    Congressional Budget Office Shows Senate Bill Is $600 Billion Tax Hike

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just now released its score of the bill the Senate passed early this morning while everyone was celebrating the beginning of the New Year. Despite knowing for a long time that taxes would go up on all Americans today, the Senate waited until we technically went … More

    Farm Subsidies Hurt the Poor Worldwide

    Got milk? The European Parliament sure does. European dairy farmers were in Brussels this week to protest proposed changes in dairy regulations. Protestors doused the parliament building with milk and capped off a rough 10 days for the European Union (EU) capital following a failed summit last week over the … More

    Thankful for Trade: It Saves People from Starving

    Thousands of people are not starving to death in Michigan. This shocking development comes despite one of the worst harvests in memory. With little produce being gathered from local orchards and fields, some feared the worst. But despite the drought, grocery stores had full shelves and reasonable prices. The miracle … More

    U.S. Farmers Seeing Record Profits, Thanks to Taxpayers and Government

    The Financial Times reports that “U.S. farmers are heading for their most profitable year on record despite the worst drought in half a century as high grain prices and payouts from a federal crop insurance program compensate for a smaller harvest.” Higher profits are great—when they come from real market … More

    The Conservationist's Case for Ending the Reign of Ethanol

    This past year, the USDA produced a couple of lengthy research reports (here and here) concluding what others have also documented: The federal government’s drive to increase ethanol use has created an environmentally hazardous production cycle in the name of renewable energy that is neither affordable nor clean. The Renewable … More

    Rescue Taxpayers from Flawed Farm Policy

    House leaders on Tuesday proposed a drought relief package for ranches, orchards, and nurseries as a substitute for the massive five-year farm bill that has been stalled for weeks in the deeply divided chamber. But the very same flaws that have sidelined the omnibus farm bill—lavish subsidies and perverse incentives … More

    A Farm Bill That’s Not About Farming

    Were we directed from Washingtonwhen to sow, when to reap, we should soon want bread. – Thomas Jefferson The federal government hasn’t stuck its nose into when to plant crops (yet, anyway), butJefferson’s warning is worth remembering as another farm bill chugs through Congress this year. Federal lawmakers are planning, yet again, to … More

    Farm Bill: Bumper Crop of Food Stamps

    The farm bill pending in the Senate has a bumper crop of food stamps. The bill, S.3240 (the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act), should be renamed the “Food Stamp Expansion Act.” The bulk of the spending in the bill is targeted to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also … More