A Wisconsin congressman clarifies his farm bill plan, and he's got support from the president.
U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) says this new farm bill (The Food & Agriculture Risk Management Act or FARM 21) is better suited for the 21st century, but he has his fair share of opposition .
As a matter of fact, House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota recently said Ron Kind's plan would, "destroy agriculture." Kind says, coming from Wisconsin, where Ag is one of our top three industries, he wouldn't steer us wrong. He says it's often hard to implement reform in Congress, because of big special interest groups.
The La Crosse Democrat says if ever there was a window of opportunity to make the transition to a different system, that's non-market distorting, non-trade distorting, now is the time. Kind says crop prices are high, and he doesn't want any artificial subsidies.
Kind figures taxpayers would save about $20 billion in subsidies over the next five years by implementing these programs – and $55-billion over 10 years. Kind says, under the bill, farmers would help provide their own safety nets called "risk management accounts," like IRAs for farmers. The current farm bill expires in September of this year. Kind expects FARM 21 to come up on the House floor sometime before the August recess.