Have you heard about the refreshing alternative to the same old tired, porky approach to farm legislation?
Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., proposed a rebel farm bill called the Fresh Act that would replace billions of dollars in payments to farmers of a handful of crops with an insurance program that would be available free to all farmers — including the 91 percent of California farmers who receive no federal crop subsidies….
But it would come at the expense of the … cluster of seven states in the Midwest and South that get most of the $7.5 billion that will be spent this year on subsidies for corn, cotton, rice, wheat and soybeans.
The plan is expected to save so much money that it could finance a veritable liberal dream list.
Billions of dollars would be diverted to food stamps and fruit and vegetable purchases in school food programs. Money would be freed for conservation easements to preserve farm land from suburban sprawl and a host of other environmental programs. Aid for organic farms and locally based food purchases, research for fruit, nut and vegetable crops, and rural development would rise.
The changes would also bring farm programs into compliance with world trade treaties, and still trim $3 billion from the deficit.
Anybody think it’s got more than a snowball’s chance of overcoming the massive stone wall of interests stacked against it? It would be nice to think so.
Oh, and before you "conservatives" dismiss it on the basis of that "liberal" reference above, check out what The Washington Times said.