Paying for Groceries

A farm bill is wending its way through Congress, finally, as the House and Senate have agreed to a common version.  What’s in this version?  Good question.

Lawmakers for months have been deeply divided over the farm bill, which funds crop insurance and farm subsidies, as well as programs to help low-income people pay for groceries.

But these…lawmakers…won’t talk publicly about the details of their compromise.

There are a couple of things here, though, that are clear despite the lack of transparency.  One is the inconsistency of having farm price supports—farm subsidies—along with funding programs to help the poor pay for that artificially costly food.  The other is the premise that Government belongs in the insurance business.  One would have thought Obamacare would have driven home the utter foolishness of that, even as it concerns such long-standing involvements like crop insurance.  Silly me.

No.  It’s long past high time for price supports to be eliminated and to let competition drive food prices to their naturally lower levels.  It’s also long past high time to get Government out of the crop insurance business (all insurance business, come to that), and let free market-competing private enterprises sell the relevant policies—and relieve tax payers of the burden.

As for the poor who still wouldn’t be able to afford those free market lower prices, the Senate-passed version that went to House-Senate committee (and about which outcome we’re told nothing) had no work requirement as a criterion for eligibility for welfare support/food stamps: the Progressive-Democrats won’t hear of any requirement to take steps to earn one’s way off welfare.  That work requirement needs to be a part of the bill that goes to the President for signing; those folks should have the opportunity to escape the Progressive-Democrats’ welfare cage.

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