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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:40 pm 
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justgrace wrote:
juditupp wrote:
melopa wrote:
I never knew a small family farmer who did not have a reverence for the land.
Whether it be big vs small business; or big vs small farmers, regulations mostly end up giving big business as well as big agriculture the advantage over the little guy.
Eliminating subsidies alone, would only address part of the problem, and in the current environment, would hurt the smaller farms.

That's very true. The example I gave of the organic foods is a perfect example of regulation gone wrong in farming. Way too much government intervention in the economy all over the place and like you said it's the little guy that it hurts the most.

We have fought for the family farm for all our lives. There is no place better to raise children. Our children have struggled alongside us through the years, working to help in good times and bad.

Yet, I know of only a few farm families, large or small, who do not participate in the government programs. I am pretty sure we would not make it if we did not sign up. That is where it is today. To abruptly end the government programs would mean the death knell of many, many farms because of this. Only the very wealthy could survive. Unfortunately, we compete against world markets, and we have to figure out what the board of trade will do if we want to compete.

Of my husband's high school class, where half the boys went into farming, we are the only ones who made a go of it. And it has been very difficult at times, as well as rewarding. We have faced 18% interest on farm loans under Pres. Jimmy Carter, which only by the grace of God and others helping were we able to overcome. We have had drought years and years where the mud was so deep that the cattle suffocated in the lots. It either rains too much or not enough, it seems.

While the farmers along the Mississippi and east are flooding and losing property and crops, those farther west are experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. Right now, our beautiful wheat fields are drying up in the face of 101 degree, hot dry winds. It's 5-20 degrees hotter than average for early May. We have had only three rains of 0.1 inch each in the last half a year. Folks, Texas, Oklahoma, and the western half of Kansas is drying up and fire danger is high. Twenty-one counties have been declared disasters. And yes, some government relief will be necessary or we will not survive. We have federal crop insurance that we purchased, that will pay part of the costs to cushion the losses. Yesterday, wheat went up $.35 cents per bushel, but so many farmers will have nothing to sell. Yet the inputs are there in costs, just as always.

Long gone are the days when hard work and a small farm would give most of us any kind of living. Yes, rural America would die without the government programs, and only a few very large corporations would farm the land. We do need someone like Gov. Huckabee, who understands how agriculture in these rural states needs to be healthy and competitive in world markets. And yet who would do whatever he could to cut waste and shrink the programs. Just like in other areas of the economy, our federal government is heavily regulative and involved. We will have to make gradual progress in every area, including social security and medicare, etc. to cut costs. What hath America wrought, in her ever-increasingly government controlled economy? It is a mixed bag, when we try to help others out and try to do it through government. But considerable savings could be found by cutting wasteful spending in each department. We must find the waste and fraud and get our house in order.

Just FYI, as a conservative in the fullest sense I'm a wholehearted advocate for gradual, slow change when ratcheting down or eliminating gov't programs. The only appropriate place for radical, immediate change (if possible) is in protecting the unborn. I suppose that switching from the current income tax to the fair tax would be another one I would agree with. Everything else should be done gradually to allow people and institutions to adjust. Every subsidy cut should also be accompanied by reductions in costly regulations. I think that Huckabee also advocates that type of approach which is one reason that he's accused of being a "progressive".

Judith Martinez
"It is true poverty for a child to die so that we may live as we wish."

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:26 am 
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I totally agree - why are there no like buttons here?

Most people don't do well with quitting ANYTHING cold turkey, but esp cutting off a source of income. Making it a gradual reduction would be a lot less painful.

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Thanks for the good discussion! I agree that these things need to be phased out. We do have something in the Department of Agriculture similar to the advisory role you suggest, juditupp. It is called the Agricultural Extension Service. I do not think it takes a huge amount of the budget, but for years the work with the agricultural colleges (like Kansas State and Ohio State) to provide research and education.

Also, I agree that we cannot wait to phase out abortion. In Kansas, I was excited to read of how our conservative legislature and Governor (Brownback) are making great progress.


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