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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Death Of The Farm Bill

The Government is beginning to remind me of an older woman who has had too much work done, but still fancies herself to be beautiful. She is one of those old timey stars that are featured in slide shows of photos celebrities who went under the knife once, twice, or more times too often.

I mean, there's not much to inspire here anymore, other than a lumbering military machine looking around the planet for a back alley in which to pick a fight with some local toughs, preferably of the bearded persuasion.

For example, in all the hoopla over the shut down, did anyone notice that the Farm Bill expired?

Daily Yonder
...“The big programs that lack funding – or, in plain English, that will die on October 1 – are mostly in the export area: Market Access Program, Dairy Export Incentive Program, etc. These are programs whose funding is directly tied to farm bill annual funding. As such, no farm bill means no dollars.

“Most other programs – Rural Development, commodity titles, crop insurance, for example – are funded through end of fiscal 2014 because of a two-year deal done in the middle of the budget chaos last year. Most conservation programs like Conservation Reserve Program, the Wetlands Reserve and Grassland Reserve are funded but will not have any new enrollments that require payments after or until a Farm Bill is completed.

“As such, don't look for any swift movement on any farm bill … Mostly likely [a bill] can – if the inmates so desire – be worked it out in October, but only after a specific series of parliamentary dance steps.

“Start the music? We'll see.”

While the USDA programs that expired September 30 were a small part of the department’s overall responsibilities, that doesn’t mean they weren’t important to some constituencies. Midwestern Energy News reports on one program that is lapsing – the Rural Energy for America Program. This initiative supports alternative energy development, like solar, for farmers and ranchers...
and in tribal news:

The National Congress of American Indians has released a statement on the government shutdown reminding us that even if Congress comes up with at 2014 budget resolution, the current drafts of that resolution continue the budget cuts that were enacted as part of the 2013 federal sequestration. Those cuts were especially tough in Indian Country, the NCAI release says:

Even if the shutdown is resolved soon, a greater crisis remains – both the House and Senate versions of the Continuing Resolution sustained the devastating FY 2013 sequestration cuts. The sequester has deeply affected tribal programs: the Indian Health Service, Indian education funding streams, law enforcement, infrastructure programs such as housing and road maintenance, Head Start, and others. These funding commitments serve some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and are part of the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribal nations.

As Washington faces the threefold crisis of the shutdown, sequester, and debt limit, we call on the Congress to reach a long-term budget deal that meets the nation’s obligations to tribal nations and Native peoples. It is time to address the ongoing fiscal crisis caused by the sequester. The trust responsibility to tribal nations is not a line item and tribal programs must be exempt from budget cuts in any budget deal.

What are the chances that this Congress are any Congress similarly constituted will do anything meaningful in the present and in the near future?
Not very good.

We are living is a dream of our past glories.
There is nothing coming from our country that inspires the rest of the world: the government does not work, the economy is still hobbled and dependent upon the Federal Reserve.....

It is time we ask where Hope will come from.

Ask it, and try to answer it. See what happens.

Our political battles will keep match step with our national decline into economic stagnation and an insipid sense of acute nostalgia for the past.
All the flag pins in the world will not patch our lapels; all the red, white, and blue suspenders with stars on the equalizers will not keep our pants from falling down.


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