Farm bill doesn’t reach out

Farm bill doesn’t reach out
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First Published: Sun, Feb 04 2007. 11 33 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Feb 04 2007. 11 33 PM IST
 The Bush administration (has) unveiled its proposal for the 2007 farm bill, a blueprint spelling out US agricultural subsidies and food stamp payments for the next five years. For anybody interested in fairness, government waste, free trade or economic growth, it was a disappointing document. Farm subsidies are a new deal legacy once aimed at helping poor farmers and has become a form of corporate welfare for big agribusinesses. The problem is that many farm subsidies pervert those markets by stimulating inefficient production that affects global prices. So why should Americans care? Firstly, other nations retaliate against US exports. Secondly, subsidies kill competition with foreign growers that would lower prices on some produce in this country. Thirdly, taxpayers are shelling out $20 billion a year in subsidies to agribusiness. Fourthly, poor countries are most likely to become failed states, embittered by our hypocritical preaching on “free trade”
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First Published: Sun, Feb 04 2007. 11 33 PM IST
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