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Uncle George had a farm…E, I, E, I Owe

(By Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach) – It’s amazing the things you often find online by accident.  Indeed, in doing some research on agricultural policies in the U.S. recently, I stumbled upon an online kids’ game called “Big Farm.”  Here’s the description…

“Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. Using business skills and the help of your neighbors, family and friends you can turn the overgrown barnyard into a beautiful and prosperous farm again. Plant the right crops, harvest and process them, care for your animals and make sure that your workers are happy – this is how your farm will grow successfully.”

If only that was all there was to it!

Of course, the first Big Problem your Big Farm will face before you plow your first field is how to pay the government the “death tax” you inherited from Uncle George that is due to Uncle Sam.  Then, if you’re fortunate enough to survive that unnatural disaster, you’ll still be faced with all manner of government programs, restrictions, licenses, taxes and fees.

Funny how neither Uncle George nor the Big Farm game ever mentioned anything about that!

As Dr. J. Wesley Burnett, PhD, explained in a recent report, Moving to a Free Market Agriculture Policy…

“Today much of the costs of agricultural production are driven by intrusive government policies including environmental and tax laws.”

He went on to note that the average American farm, approximately 96 percent of which are family owned, “is faced with challenges, many of which have been created by the federal government.”

This includes government “support” programs wrapped in acres and acres of red tape.  Which reminds me of this classic quote from former President Reagan…

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Dr. Burnett concluded that if Congress really wants to help family farmers, “Minimizing, if not absolutely removing, any form of subsidies in U.S. agriculture would greatly encourage the fundamental principles of competition and economic welfare.”

He added that “a good first step” would be to embrace Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-Florida) zero-for-zero proposal (HCR 20) for eliminating the U.S. sugar program.  I think Uncle George would agree.