One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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The Farm Bill is a bane of we Conservatives’ existence – and Reality-based policymaking. It is a relic of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)’s horrendously failed New Deal – a top-down, central-planning nightmare mess.
And over the last eighty-plus years, FDR’s heinous domestic policy has gone global. A worldwide farm market has arisen. We no longer just grow for ourselves. We sell all over – and they sell to us.
And our Farm Bill – which warps our market – has warped the world’s as well. FDR helped beget an eight-decade-long international regulatory arms race. Other produce-producing nations saw our lattice-work panoply of tariffs and subsidies – and felt compelled to match them. And then exceed them.
Round and round we go. Myriad nations outdo our government interference in the marketplace – so we outdo theirs. Lather, rinse, repeat. So what we now have is a global lattice-work panoply of tariffs and subsidies. A thicket that grows ever thicker – as each next government tries to outdo the last.
We take our swing every half decade – when our heinous Farm Bill comes up for Congressional renewal. A $1 trillion redux passed last year.
We Conservatives tried then to do what we always try to do – unilaterally kill it. And we were just as successful then as we always have been – not at all.
So let’s try something new, shall we?
We’ve spent the better part of a century erecting ever-higher walls of trade impediment. And watching the world’s nations do the same. It would seem we need to work together to tear down those walls.
Here’s a start of that deconstruction.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., reintroduced a bill Friday that encourages the (Barack Obama) administration to target foreign sugar subsidies. Under the “Zero-for-Zero” plan, U.S. sugar policy would also be rolled back in exchange for the elimination of foreign programs, which Yoho says are distorting world prices and inhibiting a free market.
Congressman Yoho is, of course, absolutely correct. We’ve been “distorting world prices and inhibiting a free market” for decades – and on oh-so-much-more than merely sugar.
Here’s hoping the Administration makes this move – and on oh-so-much-more than merely sugar.
It’s way past time we end this fossilized facet of FDR’s New Deal. Both here – and abroad.