Thursday, January 01, 2009

Taxpayer dollars bailing dairy farmers out?

I can understand that a quasi-socialist country like India subsidizes farmers - levies on Petrol are imposed to subsidize Diesel for farmers and Kerosene/LPG for homes. When I find out about a similar practice in the US, not only am I at odds with what I am reading, but I am troubled by the fact that my tax dollars are bailing out an industry that isn't keeping up with the times.
As American dairy farmers increased their shipments of powdered milk, cheese and other dairy ingredients to foreign markets, their incomes rose. And the demand surge helped drive up the price of milk for American families. The national average for whole milk peaked at $3.89 a gallon in July, up from an average of $3.20 a gallon in 2006.
Sheer outrage envelopes me as I continue reading...
Some critics of farm subsidies argue that price support programs are antiquated and allow farmers to continue producing even when the economics make no sense, as taxpayers will always buy up the excess production.

“They don’t want to downsize or respond to the market signal. They want to keep producing,” said Kenneth Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington research organization that has long been critical of the government’s farm policy. “Once you get in a jam like this, it becomes our collective problem.”

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