Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama and Farm Subsidies

Just from the Washington Post:

Obama Goes After Farm Subsidies

In a speech just concluded announcing two more economy appointees -- CBO chief Peter Orszag to the Office of Management and Budget and Robert Nabors (House Approp. Comm.) to be his deputy -- President-elect Obama gave an example of one piece of wasteful government spending: farm subsidies.

Obama cited a GAO report out yesterday that said from 2003 to 2006, "millionaire farmers" got $49 million in farm subsidies despite earning more than the $2.5 million cutoff in annual income.

"If it's true," Obama said, "it's a prime example of waste."

With the announcement, Obama joins a long and largely defeated line of presidents and officials who've tried to kill farm subsidies, a perk as deeply ingrained in a nation built on the Jeffersonian Agricultural Ideal as any other.

Subsidies have been constructed and preserved by powerful Midwest lawmakers and are very difficult to pry loose.

To the president-elect, we say: Good luck with that. Let us know how it works out for you.

Orszag, Obama said, "doesn't need a map to tell him where the bodies are buried in the federal budget."

One place to start digging is the Nation's Breadbasket. The president-elect may be wise to be on the lookout for a Combine Army motoring to Washington to preserve the subsidies.