Tag: byron dorgan

Retiring Sen. Dorgan Was Mad about Trade

When Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND, announced this week that he would not be running for re-election in November, he explained that he wanted to pursue other interests such as teaching and writing more books.

As a senator, Dorgan opposed almost all efforts to liberalize trade unless it involved Cuba or the re-importation of price-controlled drugs. He holds the distinction of being the second most frequently mentioned politician (behind only Barack Obama) in my Cato book, Mad about Trade, something that I’m sure the senator would consider a badge of honor.

Here is my critical but eminently fair review of his 2006 book, Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America.

Hell Freezes Over (Or At Least Gets Cooler)

Well here’s an interesting, if three-weeks-old, story. Apparently the North Dakota Farm Bureau’s annual convention recently passed a policy calling for the elimination of all agricultural programs.  Reading between the lines of the original press release indicates that the call was part of a broad political position by the NDFB to move away from government intervention in many areas of the economy apart from farm programs, including cap-and-trade and health care:

“As people in this country expect more from the government and less from themselves, our delegates are urging everyone, including farmers, to step away from the public trough and get back to the principles of individual responsibility and initiative,” said NDFB President Eric Aasmundstad….
The only way government can get money is to take it from its citizens. We don’t believe raising taxes to pay for health care or climate change will help our country get out of our economic slump or even improve health care or the environment. And the more they take, the less we have to find the innovative solutions to the problems we face.

He sounds like a Catoite.

To what extent the NDFB’s position flows through to the rest of the farm lobby remains to be seen, so hell hasn’t quite frozen over yet. But this is positive news. At the very least it spells sweet, sweet trouble for long-time free trade nemesis and farm bill supporter Sen. Byron Dorgan (D), who is up for reelection next year.

HT: Chris Edwards.