Dispatches from a Small Business
Via Megan McArdle:
"We need to stand up to the special interests, bring Republicans and Democrats together, and pass the farm bill immediately," Barack Obama
Self-parody in action.
I was discussing this issue with a coworker and he felt that all the farmers would go out of business simultaneously without subsidies. Even though stuff like water melons doesn't and yet every year I see water melons at the supermarket. I wonder if Obama's half brother, McCain, was done in by his opposition last election cycle.
Having once been a farmer myself, I can tell you that members of a once-independent and resourceful class of people have been largely turned into wards of the state. There are exceptions, of course, and farmers do work hard at what they do. In the end, though, subsidies and price support systems have created an industry in which it is nearly impossible to tell what true prices should be. I have argued for years that weaning farmers off of support would allow us to discover what size, scope, and methods of farming are most efficient.
I am not holding my breath...
Not self-parody from the Big Zero's point of view. Obama has clearly declared what he thinks are special interests what who are citizens and votes.
â€œWe need to stand up to the special interests, bring Republicans and Democrats together, and pass the farm bill immediately,â€ Barack Obama
This is the funniest line I've heard in a month. The President has been smoking too much alfalfa lately.
And a lady I know who reads tea leaves is predicting that the voters will be putting him out to pasture in 2012. We shall see.
i'm imagining an editorial from the onion about unfair government competition in political satire...
Something I find more troubling than the lack of identifying farmers as a special interest group. He does not call on Congress to debate the farm bill, deliberate on the farm bill, vote on the farm bill, develop a farm bill that they can all agree on. He calls on them to pass the bill immediately.
That is to him the purpose of Congress is to rubber stamp ratify his agenda, rather than be a deliberative legislative body.
Yes, it is an interesting comment, but is being taken totally out of context. President Obama said it in 2007 when he was Senator Obama of Illinois which is a big time farming state growing lots and lots of corn and beans.
You say that like it makes it any better.
Jim Clay, no comment on better or worse whatever that might mean. The President's remark is totally understandable in the context of 2007 as Senator Obama of Illinois as agricultural supports are one of the truly bipartisan efforts in Congress.
The remark is amusing/sad/pathetic/ironic today because his words are much the same while his actions clearly are not.
actually charile, i have to say i'm with jim on this.
just because they are his constituents, that doesn't mean they aren't a special interest. while i see you point about why he would support such a policy, his comment is utterly disingenuous no matter who it benefits.
lying for those who elected you is still lying.
> lying for those who elected you is still lying.
It ain't lying if you've convinced yourself you really believe it. And such convincing isn't hard in the ever-fluid "reality" if Libtardia.
I don't think anyone disagrees that farmers were his constituents and voting for the farm bill was politically expedient. I also don't think anyone expected him to do anything that would decrease his chances of re-election.
What makes the comment funny is that he said "we need to stand up to special interests" by pandering to the special interests (farmers). Get it? Get it?
As I recall, the joke goes something like: The hardest part about being a farmer is learning to keep a straight face while saying "Tell those people in Washington to keep out of my business" in the same sentence as "where is my subsidy check"
Only growers of select products (wheat, corn, rye, barley, rice, soy beans, sugar beets, sugar cane, peanuts, tobacco, and milk) get federal subsidies, price supports, and/or protective tariffs. Farmers that raise other products (potatoes, most vegetables, fruits, nuts, beef, chicken, pork, turkey, etc.) get no federal support. I grew up in a "truck" farming and orchard region of upstate NY, and none of the farmers got federal money. The small dairy farms (back in the 1960s and 1970s) couldn't compete with the big boys and went under. Once the big boys had the dairy business locked up, they successfully lobbied for price supports.
If potato farmers and peach growers can get by without subsidies, price supports, or tariffs, why can't the big wheat and corn growers? This selective farm subsidy nonsense should have been cancelled decades ago. The federal government hasn't been supporting family farms, it's been supporting big agribusinesses.
Tobacco? Tobacco? How could anyone vote to subsidize tobacco and then face their voters? There is no hope, my friends.
Not only did Al Gore vote to subsidize tobacco, he owned a tobacco farm. And since many of his constituents in Tennessee were fellow tobacco farmers, and tobacco was a very important part of the regional economy, they were pleased to vote for one of their own.
That is American politics in a nutshell.
Face it, people, independent farmers are gone. Farmers are serfs, working for the brokers, who set prices in collusion with the Feds and Agribusiness suppliers. That they may own the land they work does not make them any less dependent. Agriculture is the largest welfare momma we pay. It's all about stability.
The political bullshit and hard-working backbone of the nation narrative seems to be enough for farmers. They should sell the cows and move to Miami.
I hope I live long enough to see food get expensive.
It all makes sense when you realize that there is only one special interest out there in Obama's eyes. The taxpaying citizen.