NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Defending The Farm Bill

May 16, 2002

Despite the near-universal condemnation of this year's Farm Bill, White House adviser Larry Lindsey is attempting to justify President Bush's signing it into law.

Here are some of the arguments he employs:

  • The bill will "provide a reliable safety net" for America's farmers and ranchers who are "vital to our economy."
  • The bill "adheres to congressional budget guidelines available at the time of conference, advances our international trade commitments, and protects the fundamental reforms of the 1996 Freedom to Farm legislation."
  • European support for crops "is more than three times as high as U.S. support."
  • The administration achieved "a farm bill that reinforces U.S. leadership, benefits our producers and enhances the ability of our producers to aggressively compete for new markets."

It would be fair to say most economists and federal budget watchers disagree.

Source: Larry Lindsey, "A Farm Bill Worth Signing," Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2002.


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