Is Anyone for the Farm Bill?
posted by Frank Pasquale
I just got the following action alert from OxFam:
The Senate bill being considered, like the House version that passed, favors a relatively small number of producers at the expense of most farmers and rural communities, and it falls short of meeting its obligations to families that depend on food stamps and to conservation programs that protect rivers and streams. To make things worse, the Farm Bill would actually hurt poor farmers in developing countries. . . . [Meanwhile,] millionaire farmers . . . receive unfair subsidies.
My question is: is it mainly interest group politics and campaign finance transactions that permit bills like this to pass over and over? Or do they naturally flow from a Senate that may overrepresent big agribusiness? Tom Geoghegan notes that “the 50 Senators from the 25 [least populated] states represent 16 percent of the population.”