Farm reform |

Farm reform

Economic principles get steamrolled by politics as usual every five years in passage of a gargantuan farm bill. The 2002 measure expires in September.

The enormous subsidies benefit primarily the biggest, wealthiest agribusinesses. The estimated cost to consumers over the past two decades: $1.7 trillion.

The farm bill should be vetoed. That won’t happen. So, the best taxpayers can hope for is agricultural aid reform — something on the same scale as welfare reform in 1996.

Before 2002, U.S. net farm income (less government aid) averaged $30 billion. Now it’s reportedly twice as high. The most undeserving must be lopped from the public dole.

And consider government’s bitter harvest: billions in unceasing allocations annually , increased taxes and food costs for consumers and the interminable cycle of subsidies.

And while the fat cats grow fatter on government’s farm handouts, the little guys are forced into consolidation — or out of business.

Perhaps the most pressing requisite for reform is the coming storm from two threatening fronts: Social Security and Medicare. Both are on pace to pulverize taxpayers by 2050. The projected tax increase per household to sustain both (adjusted for inflation): $11,651 .

Stacking another grotesque farm bill on top this mounting burden would be utterly irresponsible.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.