Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Hard to Exagerate the Awfulness of the House Farm Bill


This legislative disaster doesn't just devastate food aid to the poor, but also delivers a gut shot to the small farmer.

How bad is it? Franz Matzner takes a swing,
To start with, the bill takes aim at the environment by first crippling, and then outright ending, conservation programs, as well as zeroing out mandatory funding for rural renewable energy and efficiency development. Thousands of farmers from every state have participated in these programs, generating income while helping restore wetlands and prairies, reducing fertilizer and pesticide pollution that poison our rivers and drinking water, and decreasing the nation’s reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

In stark contrast, the bill would make permanent billions of dollars in subsidies for corporate farmers. This would upend decades of precedent and lock taxpayers into these high costs, at least creating a deterrent to regular updating and improving of our farm policies, and at worst threatening the continuation of important policies to protect soil, water, wildlife, and public health.

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