When Bipartisanship Is Good News

Usually when I hear that a policy proposal has bipartisan support, I instinctively check for my wallet. But I greeted with pleasure the news on Wednesday that two lawmakers — Rep. Scott Garrett (R, NJ) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D, PA) — had introduced a bill to shut down the USDA’s Market Access Program, which the congressmen rightly paint as “corporate welfare to big business.”

I yield to no one in my abhorrence of trade barriers, here and abroad. But this program is less about addressing market access per se, and more about taxpayer funding of marketing campaigns, trade shows and other promotions, which surely are the responsibility of the firms/industries concerned.

Incidentally, the Market Access Program is a line item in one of many agricultural programs identified by our Tax and Budget team as being ripe for the chopping block.