Sunday, September 09, 2007

What we wanted to do with the Farm Bill... 17 years ago

In July 1990, I was starting my first job out of college as associate editor and writer for the advocacy newsletter Nutrition Week, published by the Community Nutrition Institute (CNI). I recently reacquired my long-lost file of issues from that period. The front page gives me deja vu.
House and Senate Defeat Challenges to Committee Proposals for '90 Farm Bill

Both houses of Congress this week defeated major ammendments [sic, how embarrassing] to the 1990 Farm Bill. Family farm advocates failed to win higher commodity price supports, and farm program detractors lost some important bids to reduce supports and restrict farm subsidies.

"It's totally agribusiness as usual," summarized Brian Ahlberg of the National Family Farm Coalition.

This week's political struggles were mostly victories for the recommendations from the two agricultural committees, under E. "Kika" de la Garza (D-TX) in the House of Representatives and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in the Senate....

A side box on the front page quoted from a recent article in Rolling Stone by ex-liberal humorist P.J. O'Rourke.

If it were up to him, how would O'Rourke deal with the 1990 Farm Bill? "Drag the thing behind the barn and kill it with an ax."

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