Cato — Tad DeHaven: Farm bill pig-out

In The Hill and at CatoTad DeHaven and Chris Edwards write about the farm subsidy bill being prepared by the senate. There is a great deal here with which to agree, but the argument is defective.

DeHaven and Edwards argue that farm subsidies :

  • distort agriculture,
  • damage the environment,
  • harm our international trade relations,
  • go to the comparatively wealthy: farm income is 25% higher than the US average,
  • go to corporations: the largest 10% of recipients receive more than two third of the subsidy
  • are unaffordable, given the state of the US economy.

Now, all of these are absolutely true, but none of them is fundamental. Why is it right to compel taxpayers to spend their money on programs they have not (individually) agreed to? Where does the constitution authorize congress to subsidize anyone for anything?

Tad, Chris, if the farm subsidies were magically able to overcome your list of objections, would you then be in favor of them? Are you pulling your punches? Why?

Think about it.

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About 86dave

World traveler, mostly first and second world Outdoors: hiker, cyclist, photographer Libertarian Author, Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks, Wiley, 2012
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