Negotiators have agreed on a farm bill, the antiquated one that pays subsidies to rich farmers and will almost certainly add to the world’s rapidly deteriorating hunger crisis. Pelosi and friends are arguing to limit subsidies to those poor folk making somewhere around a million a year. George Bush– yes, our president– has called for a much more reasonable limit of $200,000, and a call to help feed the world with food bought in other countries, not just the US. Amazing! SF Chronicle’s Carolyn Lochhead’s article discusses it in her article Farm bill upends normal political order
Where do our presidential candidates stand?
Clinton said this: “Rural America is struggling in the face of skyrocketing energy prices, an economic downturn and rising food prices,” Clinton said. “Saying no to the farm bill would be saying no to rural America.” swampland
McCain: “I do not support it. I would veto it. I would do that because I believe that these subsidies, the subsidies are unnecessary.” desmoinesregister
Obama (in November in response to filibuster of farm bill):”I was disappointed to see that important improvements and solutions for our family farmers in this bill fell victim to partisan politics and obstructionism. Those who stood in the way of this bill stood against our farmers and a clean energy future. While the bill that passed committee didn’t include everything I would have liked, including specific reforms to help family farmers instead of big agribusiness, it did take much-needed steps to invest in conservation, nutrition, specialty crops and rural development. It provided funding for renewable energy and recognized farmers who are working to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And it included a packer ban, which is so important for market transparency.” obama
The problem, of course, is systematic: our capitalism and laws that allow lobbyist money to stranglehold our politicians. Though I don’t like what Obama says above (bolding is mine), I still think that he, after being elected, will do the most to work against such a system (his small donation campaign is a great start).