Letters to Editor
Mr. Niewenhuis (New Jersey Farm Bureau President) is correct about one thing: the farm bill before Congress has lots to do with you. The farm bill will cost you, the taxpayer, $211 billion, have negative environmental consequences, is extremely harmful to our international relations, and will end up hurting the small family farm. The farm bill subsidies are an un-American affront to fairness and common sense.
The 2002 farm bill cost taxpayers an average of $85 billion per year between 2002 and 2005. In 2005 it cost the taxpayer $100 billion. The 2007 farm bill is even more bloated. Instead of allowing the free market to set prices (and as a result the levels of production_, the farm bill attempts to micromanage production by paying some farmers not to farm while paying other farmers to farm. The result is higher prices to the consumer. In effect, the prices of some goods such as milk and sugar are set to artificially high levels by a government enforced cartel. The largest beneficiary is Florida's Flo-Sun. The owners have an estimated net worth of $500 million. If the 2007 farm bill is passed, they are expected to receive $125 million annually in farm sugar production price supports.