Conferees scrap Farm Bill — “Let the market prevail”*

At a press conference today, House and Senate conferees negotiating the 2007 Farm Bill said that they had decided to scrap the bloated $287 billion farm program and let the market determine supply, demand, and prices for agricultural products.

“At a time when farmers are making record profits and consumers and taxpayers are facing higher food costs and higher taxes, we realized it is immoral to cut such a sweet deal for farmers,” said the House Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. Serge Farmerson in announcing the change.

Rep. Farmerson noted that farmers throughout the country have said they want to “stop feeding at the public trough.” In a WSJ poll last week, 99.9 percent of U.S. farmers said that they wanted to choose which crops to plant without government interference. A smaller percentage, 99 percent, said they would do fine without the subsidies, price supports, direct support, loans, and other handouts.

The Bush Administration, which had threatened to veto the bill for its budgetary legerdemain and its support for rich farmers, said that the conferees’ agreement offered new hope for the end of government programs that benefit special interests. An Administration spokesman said, “We’re encouraged by this action, but the reliance on the market represents a significant shift in farm policy.”

The revised bill, called the “Get Government Out of Farming Act” or G-GOOFA, is expected to pass easily, said the conferees.

*If only this were true.