When Rep. Collin Peterson (D- Minn. and Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee) pronounces that a farm program is too generous, you know you’ve crossed a line.
But that’s what happened recently after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman and – oh, hey, how about that? – facing a tough re-election battle in November proposed an extra $1.1 billion in emergency farm aid be added to a jobs/tax/unemployment/kitchen sink bill going through the Senate this week. These extra handouts would flow despite the fact that the 2008 farm bill contained ”reforms” (the so-called ”permanent disaster” program) ostensibly to put an end to politically-motivated ad hoc emergency aid of just the type that Senator Lincoln is pushing now.
For those who can stomach it, this excellent article by Dan Morgan, one of the nation’s best agriculture journalists, contains plenty of background information.