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Agribusiness Examiner - Congress Passes, Clinton Prepares to Sign Annual Freedom to Farm Bill Bailout Money

Excerpt from The Agribusiness Examiner, Issue # 76, June 1, 2000

CONGRESS PASSES, CLINTON PREPARES TO SIGN ANNUAL FREEDOM TO FARM BILL BAILOUT MONEY

Congress has passed and Bill Clinton is expected to sign a $15 billion package of farm assistance --- including $5.5 billion in direct payments that would reach farmers by September 30, in the midst of the congressional campaigns --- to compensate growers for a third straight year of low commodity prices and to allow growers to buy cheaper crop insurance.

...

Yet, as Abner Deatherage, a retired U.S. foreign service officer who lives in Prairie Village, Kansas and James D. Baldwin, a former rancher from Independence, Missouri and chairman of Local 249 Retiree Chapter of the United Auto Workers, rightfully pointed out in a recent Kansas City Star op-ed essay, "these bailouts are unsatisfactory -- many farmers are underpaid while some are overpaid.

"Also, bailouts are uncertain and cost taxpayers substantially more than would a dependable, fair permanent price support program. A basically reformed foreign policy --- especially its unconstitutional trade element --- is keenly needed. United States agricultural and other exports must recover and increase under a rational, mutually beneficial trade policy," they add.

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