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Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack: Exactly Wrong on the Senate Farm Bill

by: Brad Wilson

Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 12:48:35 PM PDT

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This is a side-by-side rebuttal of (Democratic) Secretary of Agriculture of Agriculture Vilsack's spin about the (Democratic) Senate's Farm Bill that passed earlier this summer.  Please don't take this out of context. The Democrats are consistently better than the Republicans on the  lesser issues of the farm bill, (and were great historically, prior to 2002, on the greater issues).  It's generally always better to support Democratic farm policy, than Republican farm policy.  In fact, traditionally, and from the 1980s through 2001, populist Democrats, led by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Missouri Representative Dick Gephardt, supported great Farm Bills. Unfortunately, when Harkin became Senate Ag chair in 2002, that all changed, and they switched over to a pathetic greened up version of the Republican Freedom to Farm Bill ("Freedom to Fail," which reduced farmers' flexibility and freedom).
Brad Wilson :: Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack: Exactly Wrong on the Senate Farm Bill
(Author's Note:  This diary was designed with Courier New Bold font, size 12, and lines up when set in that way.)

Secretary Vilsack Said:           Brad says:

"I'm very pleased that the Senate     We are strongly DISpleased that
acted in bipartisan spirit today      the Senate acted in a DIVISIVE
to approve the Agriculture            spirit that hurt farmers and
Reform, Food and Jobs Act.            consumers while favoring
                                      agribusiness special interests, in  
                                      approving a farm bill containing NO  
                                      real reform for good food, farms &
                                      jobs, in direct contrast to
                                      the spin of Vilsack & Congress.

I am grateful for the Senate's        We canNOT in any way be grateful
progress toward providing a           that the Senate made the so-
reformed safety net for producers     called "safety net" significantly
in times of need, supporting          worse for farmers, opposed any
agricultural research & trade         significant reform of ag
promotion, honoring World Trade       research, and paved the way for
Organization commitments,             the US to again lose money on
                                      farm exports and massively dump
                                      farm exports, in violation of any
                                      adequate standard of fair trade.

furthering the bio-based economy,     Like the Vilsack supported "Iowa
conserving our natural resources,     2020" plan, it fosters ag
strengthening local and regional      concentration in a bio-tech power
food systems, and promoting job       complex that thwarts local and
growth in rural America.              regional food systems, and
                                      maintains an assault on rural  
                                      wealth and jobs creation.

As the legislative process moves      Like the legislative process, the
forward, the Administration will      President's budget is
continue to seek policy solutions     disastrously prioritized, and as
and savings consistent with the       we feared the
President's Budget, and we are        House of Reps. produced a bill
hopeful that the House of             with those same goals in mind.
Representatives will produce a  
bill with those same goals in  

Swift action is needed so             Here again we see Congress
that American farmers and             rushing through a farm bill
ranchers and our rural                during the busiest time of year
communities have the certainty        for farmers, with no willingness
they need to continue                 to act for the economic vitality of
strengthening the rural and           farmers & rural communities, thus
national economy."                    again missing an opportunity to
                                      help us recover from the
                                      devastations of the past, and
                                      make a positive contribution to
                                      national economy.

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