You’ve probably heard that the farm bill has been held up in Congress, and how it will be a disaster if it isn’t passed. What you probably haven’t heard is that it’s the Democrats who have been holding the dreaded bill up because as The Wall Street Journal notes, they want “Soviet style” price controls on milk. Here you probably thought it was all about food stamp funding. (Which shouldn’t be in the farm bill, if you ask me.)
A farm deal was expected last week but the conference committee stalled over a plan from Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson to replace something called the Milk Income Loss Contract. Dairy producers are currently paid a direct cash subsidy every month in which milk prices fall below a target level, but each farm is limited to reimbursement for the milk production of roughly 150 cows.
Mr. Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee whose state is home to 470,000 cows, wants to create an insurance program without a cap so Big Milk can get in on the action too. MILC has already cost $3.6 billion since it began in 2003 and the Peterson blowout would lead to exorbitant payments and political blowback.
So Mr. Peterson wants consumers to pay for hidden corporate welfare for the huge dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes instead. He wants to create a bureaucracy that would control the milk supply and artificially inflate prices for milk and staples like cheese, ice cream and yogurt. (Read More)
The article goes on to note that farms that produce too much milk, according to the government formula, would be punished. So they would create a milk shortage.
The good news is that Speaker John Boehner did step in and put an end to this madness. Hopefully that will be the end of it, but we all know how persistent those Democrats are.