Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
The following editorial appeared recently in the Kansas City Star:
Congress seems to be doing little this year other than deciding not to decide, as was the case recently with the farm bill. House Speaker John Boehner said the measure won't be considered until after the election.
Yet maybe that was best. The versions approved by the Senate and House agriculture panels only nibbled at the goal of real reform of the nation's farm programs. In perhaps the worst provisions, annual cash payments would be scrapped and replaced with another layer of potentially costly crop insurance.
Critics have rightly pointed out that this "shallow loss" policy would encourage farmers to plow marginal or environmentally sensitive acreage, knowing that even if there's no crop they'd be guaranteed a certain income. Government-subsidized insurance would remove much of farming's risk.
The corrosive effects aren't hard to imagine. Farming is an endeavor still associated with the virtues of independence and self-reliance - values that don't long survive in no-risk businesses.
Surely Congress can do better. With the nation facing a budgetary crisis, one can hope that after the election — with lawmakers facing the automatic cuts that are part of the "fiscal cliff" — Congress will be in a mood more conducive to serious reform.
- In our opinion: Utah gun law that canceled...
- Letter: Lessons for Greg Bell
- Michael Gerson: A Senate takeover — No...
- In our opinion: Technology in today's schools...
- My view: Congress must tackle tough issues
- Center that specializes in stories about...
- Letter: Vote for cleaner air
- Midterm elections put a divided America on...
- In our opinion: Utah gun law that... 148
- Greg Bell: Lessons learned form the... 87
- In our opinion: New conservative war on... 53
- In our opinion: Where has the family... 50
- Letter: What is ‘common good?’ 31
- Robert Bennett: Former Defense... 28
- In our opinion: School reformers should... 25
- Letter: Uninformed candidate 25