Ever get the feeling that the politicians are trying to milk you for all you’ve got?Over the years, career politicians have stitched a crazy quilt of agricultural price supports. Peanut butter, sugar, and dairy products like cheese and milk are all more expensive because giant agricultural companies have good buddies in Washington.
Three or four years ago, Congress talked seriously about unraveling these supports. But old habits die hard. In fact, legislation is now pending in Congress to even further expand the milk cartels. This, though the National Taxpayers Union says we’re spending billions in higher grocery bills thanks to subsidies already in place. A few farmers may be helped, temporarily, by dairy and other farm price controls. But the rest of us suffer. And even many farmers are harmed when inefficient competitors rake in the dough mostly because of their size and propped-up profits. The big firms are happy to be buffered from competition and they send crews of lobbyists to Washington to make sure things stay that way.
Various citizen legislators like Mark Sanford, the former congressman from South Carolina have led the battle in Congress on behalf of consumers. Thanks to Sanford, sugar price supports came up for a vote for the first time in years. But the lobbyists and the career politicians worked hard to protect their turf.
If we’re going to put an end to the price-control regime in agriculture and get a cheaper grocery bill, looks like we’re going to have to put an end to career politicians first. All in favor say Aye.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.