President Obama is getting no love from farm state Democrats. Obama has proposed capping payments to farmers who gross more than $500,000 in farm income — a change that would require Congress to re-open the farm bill. House Ag Chairman Collin Peterson has been traveling about the country telling folks this proposal is DOA. “That was a laughable proposal that hadn’t been thought out obviously and it makes no sense, so that is not going any place,” Peterson is saying.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the President’s earliest and strongest swing state supporters, has whipped off a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack saying she is not all that happy with the $500,000 limit. “I urge caution before agreements made in the Farm Bill are overturned and altered,” McCaskill wrote. Meanwhile, Daryll Ray, at the University of Tennessee, explains that a cap based on gross income (instead of profits or losses) makes absolutely no sense.
As for the current state of ag policy, well, the White House is putting in quite a large garden (above) Friday — as well as two hives of bees — a recommendation made by foodies such as writer Michael Pollan (who calls the garden “one of those small gestures that is powerfully symbolic”).