Subsidies give ag producers mixed signals

Editorial When the world’s finance ministers meet under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as they did in Washington earlier this month, they usually rub their chins and harrumph portentously about arcane financial matters. But this year the meetings tried to focus on a more tangible problem: rising prices for […]

Senate passes $286 billion farm bill

Staff and Wire reports WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill with an election-year expansion of subsidies for growers and food stamps for the poor. The bill, passed on a 79-14 vote, expands subsidies for wheat, barley, oat, soybeans and several other crops and creates new grants for vegetable and […]

Tweaked farm bill worthy of Bush’s veto

Editorial Democrats took control of Congress vowing to take a fresh look at wasteful programs and spending priorities. The expiration of the federal farm program — it has to be renewed every five years — was a golden opportunity to put some substance behind those promises. Crop prices are high, and farmers are thriving; net […]

Subsidies not answer to energy problems

Editorial The slogan for public consumption is “energy independence,” with a modest but not especially sincere bow to concern about climate change. But as congressional leaders prepare energy bills they hope to pass by mid-July, the coal industry is quietly lobbying for billions — yes, literally billions — of dollars in subsidies, price guarantees and […]