Look at the line-up of new Republican chairmen, and the
agenda of their leader. Then ask, would you like to trade places
with my friend Pat Roberts?
Chen says "direct incentive payments as such are quite rare;
with the death of the wool, mohair, and honey programs, they will
be even scarcer." Reminds me of a statement made once by Mark
Twain. Trace the flow of federal dollars to the ag sector in
recent years, and the shape of the 1995 farm bill debate, and then
ask does the word "scarce" fit reality. Indeed there are some in
the Republican leadership who intend to make it so.
The challenge for the ag community is to make the case that
farm policy expenditures buy things of value to society at large.
What do I mean "of value"? Well, in the months ahead I would
guess the two operative tests will be either 1) as valuable as
$1.00 of deficit reduction, or 2) if we were starting from
scratch, would we pass and fund this program?
The Farm Bureau and agribusiness have been wanting to get the
gov't out of agriculture and now they will probably get their
wish. Wonder if the Clinton Administration will have any
constructive ideas to put on the table. We'll see.