The late, inordinately great Ronald Reagan provided expert analysis of the ridiculous Push-Pull damage wrought by government.
The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Government Pushes you into arrest – and then Pulls you in with money. From enemy of the state – to serf thereof.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an all-encompassing part of the Push portion of the program. The EPA is an activity-seeking missile – that aims to end all activity. It was created to be a weapon against any and all private sector endeavor.
As you can probably guess, government assaulting the private sector isn’t a great idea.
Complying with EPA regulations costs the U.S. economy $353 billion per year – more than 30 times its budget – according to the best available estimate. By way of comparison, that is more than the entire 2011 national GDPs of Denmark ($332 billion) and Thailand ($345 billion).
The EPA is far too busy pummeling us for self-reflection – the last time it analyzed the exorbitant costs it inflicts was 1990. Transparency.
American farmers are absolutely amongst the EPAs victims.
Strong signals from regulators suggest they are about to severely restrict or completely eliminate some of the most important tools in the farmer’s toolkit….
EPA’s Biological and Economic Analysis Division recently issued a report proclaiming that seed-coating applications of neonicotinoid pesticides–the most popular and widely used insecticide in the world today–“provide negligible overall benefits”in growing soy crops….
The EPA is here soy-specific – but the assault on farmers is all-encompassing and worldwide. They are proactively targeting “the most popular and widely used insecticide in the world today”- that’s fairly far-ranging. I would imagine that if it’s the most popular and widely used – it’s probably a little more effective than the EPA is letting on.
The EPA issued this “report”…
…without talking to a single farmer–and after conducting a rushed review of a small, cherry-picked sampling of efficacy studies, a few articles, and 21 responses to a questionnaire.…
Why would the EPA talk to farmers about farming? With whom was it speaking?
(I)t makes EPA an active accomplice in a years-long campaign by radical environmentalists to ban neonicotinoids.…
Because environmentalists – and the EPA – have the farmers’ best interests at heart.
The Environmental Protection Agency has told farmers and ranchers it is sorry for handing private information about them over to environmental groups….
(T)he federal agency released information on up to 100,000 agriculture industry workers, including their home address and phone numbers, GPS coordinates and even personal medical histories. The agency later acknowledged much of the information should never have been provided, and even asked the recipients to give it back.
You’ve heard of the war on coal? Get ready for the war on farming….
The issue is the EPA’s proposed changes to the Waters of the United States regulation….
“The EPA and Corps of Engineers do not need to be coming on to our farmers’ private property unless there is a specific grievance that would harm other citizens,” (Kentucky Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson) Spann said.
“The agencies could essentially expand oversight to isolated ponds, puddles, or ditches, areas that may hold water only for a short time following rain events.”
Simultaneous with this incessant governmental assault on farmers – is the government subsidization of farmers. Behold the Farm Bill. Government regulates farmers beyond any hope of crop profit – then give them money predicated upon their not turning a crop profit.
Under the PLC program, payments are issued when prices for covered commodities fall below the reference prices. This is similar to the old Counter Cyclical payments that were in effect during the last Farm Bill….These prices are set for the life of the Farm Bill.
Government uber-regulates farmers – and the price of food skyward. Government then sets a price for food – and subsidizes farmers when the crops government made way too expensive to produce don’t meet the government-set price.
This is absolutely insane. It certainly isn’t anywhere close to a free market.
Let’s work to end the ridiculous, incessant assaults on farmers by the EPA and the rest of government. As we do so, it will make ending the ridiculous Farm Bill oh so much easier.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Human Events.