AGRIBUSINESS UPDATE….I haven’t vetted these numbers from Stephen Spruiell at The Corner, but they sound about right to me:
Ninety-two percent of farm-dwellers derive either all or most of their income from sources other than farming or subsidies….The other 8 percent — commercial farmers who derive most of their income from farming and subsidies — earned an average of $200,000 last year — an increase of 22 percent from 2006. This year, income for this group is projected to hit $230,000 — another 9.3-percent increase. The USDA, which calculated these estimates, reported last year that the windfall for commercial farmers is due in large part to “demand from the rapid expansion of ethanol production.”
….Right now, Congress is attempting to renew farm subsidies for five more years, even though the vast majority of the payments go to farmers who are making six figures a year. The chief obstacle is President Bush, who has threatened to veto the bill in its current form. Bush, who signed the massive 2002 farm bill, has set an unbelievably low bar for Congress to clear, calling only for modest spending restraint in the wake of record farm incomes. Yet Congress cannot even bring itself to cap payments to millionaires, among other simple reforms.
Hell, I’m willing to be bipartisan once in a while. This is one of those once in a whiles. Maybe next week, after the Indiana primary is over, we can all sign up for this.