No, this headline and story is not brought to you by The Onion.
The latest proof that there’s nothing more permanent than a temporary federal program:
As drought forces families in the West to shorten their showers and let their lawns turn brown, two Depression‐era government programs have been paying some of the nation’s biggest farms hundreds of millions of dollars to grow water‐thirsty crops in what was once desert.
My sympathy for this farmer lies somewhere between that which I have for Bernie Madoff and Ted Stevens:
Jim Hansen, a 69‐year‐old cotton grower in California’s Central Valley, said his family business would crumble if the government took away low‐cost water and the nearly $1.7 million in crop payments he received in 2007 and 2008.
For more on the insanity that is federal farm policy and why the USDA needs to be downsized and/or done away with, click here.