Friday, January 17, 2003
According to the article, the Dept. of Agriculture says that this subsidy of $27 million creates 1000 jobs and reflows $15 million to the budget. That therefore works out to a subsidy of $12,000 annually to those 1000 farmers. Wouldn't it make more sense to just spend $13 million to buy off these farmers and kill the subsidy? In year one it's revenue neutral, and in years 2 and 3 (where we have more than $4 billion to slash) we save $24 million.
Of course that won't happen. Corn farmers are a small, well-organized lobby with little to do in January beyond taking a bus ride to St. Paul. And the legislature, weak-kneed as they are, all but rejected the governor's plan. The faculty union is now sending urgent reminders for us to lobby hard like the farmers -- but for us it's first week of classes, sort of like planting season.