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Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack: Exactly Wrong on the Senate Farm Bill


 This is a side-by-side rebuttal of (Democratic) Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack’s spin about the (Democratic) Senate’s Farm Bill that passed earlier this summer. Please don’t take this out of context. The Democrats are consistently better than the Republicans on the lesser issues of the farm bill, (and were great historically, prior to 2002, on the greater issues). It’s generally always better to support Democratic farm policy, than Republican farm policy. In fact, traditionally, and from the 1980s through 2001, populist Democrats, led by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Missouri Representative Dick Gephardt, supported great Farm Bills. Unfortunately, when Harkin became Senate Ag chair in 2002, that all changed, and they switched over to a pathetic greened up version of the Republican Freedom to Farm Bill (“Freedom to Fail,” which reduced farmers’ flexibility and freedom).

(Author’s Note: This diary was designed with Courier New Bold font, size 12, and lines up when set in that way.)

Secretary Vilsack Said:                            Brad says:

“I’m very pleased that the Senate            We are strongly DISpleased that

acted in bipartisan spirit today                                        the Senate acted in a DIVISIVE

to approve the Agriculture                                                spirit that hurt farmers and

Reform, Food and Jobs Act.                                             consumers while favoring

………………………………………..                                     agribusiness special interests, in

………………………………………..                                    approving a farm bill containing NO

………………………………………..                                    real reform for good food, farms &

………………………………………..                                    jobs, in direct contrast to the

………………………………………..                                    spin of Vilsack & Congress.

I am grateful for the Senate’s                 We canNOT in any way be grateful

progress toward providing a                                          that the Senate made the so-

reformed safety net for producers                                 called “safety net” significantly

in times of need, supporting                                            worse for farmers, opposed any

agricultural research & trade                                         significant reform of ag research,

promotion, honoring World Trade                               and paved the way for

Organization commitments,                                         the US to again lose money on

………………………………………..                                    farm exports and massively dump

………………………………………..                                    farm exports, in violation of any

………………………………………..                                    adequate standard of fair trade.

furthering the bio-based economy,         Like the Vilsack supported “Iowa

conserving our natural resources,                               2010″ plan, it fosters ag

strengthening local and regional                                 concentration in a bio-tech power

food systems, and promoting job                                complex that thwarts local and

growth in rural America.                                               regional food systems, and

…………………………………………….                                    maintains an assault on rural

…………………………………………….                                    wealth and jobs creation,

…………………………………………….                                    and on conservation.

As the legislative process moves             Like the legislative process, the

forward, the Administration will                                President’s budget is

continue to seek policy solutions                               disastrously prioritized, and as

and savings consistent with the                                 we feared the

President’s Budget, and we are                                 House of Reps. produced a bill

hopeful that the House of                                          with those same goals in mind.

Representatives will produce a                                Free farm markets chronically fail,

bill with those same goals in mind.                        devastating rural wealth creation.

…………………………………………….                              This bill ignores that, (ignores,

…………………………………………….                              losing money onf farm exports,

…………………………………………….                              maintaining low farm income.

…………………………………………….                              Instead of export profits, it absurdly

…………………………………………….                              writes a check to everyone in the

…………………………………………….                              market, continuing huge costs

…………………………………………….                              needed only because of their

…………………………………………….                              choice to lose money on exports.

Swift action is needed so                         Here again we see Congress

that American farmers and                                      rushing through a farm bill

ranchers and our rural                                             during the busiest time of year

communities have the certainty                            for farmers, with no willingness

they need to continue                                              to act for the economic vitality of

strengthening the rural and                                    farmers & rural communities, thus

national economy.                                                    again missing an opportunity to

………………………………………..                                    help us recover from the

………………………………………..                                    devastations of the past, and

………………………………………..                                    make a positive contribution to

………………………………………..                                     national economy.  More specifically, since

………………………………………..                                     the new proposals follow the pattern of

………………………………………..                                     “decoupled” “revenue insurance,” they

………………………………………..                                      feature floating standards of need where

………………………………………..                                     farm prices can fall severely but support

………………………………………..                                     is severely reduced, or farm prices could

………………………………………..                                     rise dramatically, and yet money would be

………………………………………..                                     squandered on unneeded subsidies.  So

………………………………………..                                     for farmers seeking credit from bankers,

………………………………………..                                     and other lenders, these proposals provide

………………………………………..                                     no “certainty” for making loans.

 

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