Noem's take on farm bill

Congresswoman Kristi Noem

I will admit that I was disappointed with Kristi Noem’s statement about the new farm bill currently being drafted.

Rep. Kristi Noem thinks fellow House conservatives will go along with a new farm bill even though it continues subsidies to growers and cuts spending less than even the Obama administration proposed.

“At the end of the day, I think conservatives will get on board, recognizing the importance of generating a safe and reliable food supply,” said Noem

What is wrong with that sentence? Conservatives and other elected officials shouldn’t have to go along. During the primary and the general, Noem frequently stated the following.

“The portion that most people question is the direct payments, and I believe that every farmer and rancher would tell you they would prefer to have less government intervention into their business in exchange for less government payments,”

Noem should then take that belief and attempt to implement policies more acceptable to conservative members of the House rather than encourage her colleagues to follow a status quo in which Government picks winners and losers in a key industry.

The Argus Leader story highlighted a couple of additional points that trouble me even more and highlight exactly those procedures many of us think are worst in current government practices.

The lawmakers now are working behind closed doors to write a farm bill that would put the cuts into effect while creating a new subsidy program for grain producers.

The lawmakers are looking to insert the bill into a deficit-reduction plan that a congressional supercommittee is developing because that would insulate the farm legislation from further cuts. The House and Senate will have to take an up or down vote on the deficit plan and cannot alter individual components, including farm subsidies.

Issues: 1) We do not need a new subsidy program for grain producers, and 2) if the bill was actually worth passing, it would be acceptable to a majority in congress on its own merits. It wouldn’t need to be inserted into part of the super committee’s deficit reduction plan.

32 Replies to “Noem's take on farm bill”

  1. DDC

    The Farm Bill has absolutely nothing to do with “[g]enerating a safe and reliable food supply…”.

  2. springer

    The farm bill also includes food stamps, don’t forget that!!

    Also has nothing to do with generating a safe and reliable food supply, and has nothing to do with agriculture per se.

    Noem ran on cutting gov’t. What is her reasoning behind this?

  3. Anonymous

    I’m sick of politicians sneaking bad bills through in larger bills and telling the American Tax Payer to eat the sausage they came up with. If that’s all the better they can do then just quit and let someone more determined try.

  4. Bruce Whalen

    While driving by a corn field separated only by a barbed wire fence I notice one side was healthy and the other withering. I asked a farmer his thought about this. He said it was the ability of each farmer or practice of a single farmer. This farmer was sick and tired of competing with the federal government paying off inept farmers. He also thought government money used as a safety net made it easier to raise prices at the market.

  5. SDREDSTONE

    If Thune and Noem were real conservatives they would start out by championing Sodsaver. The most common sense money saving thing that should have been in the last Farm Bill. I will never vote for either of them again because of their Ag Welfare shenanigans.

    1. Anonymous

      Sodsaver? Just another government program that we can’t afford. I’m guessing the only reason you like it is because you want to use government money to improve hunting. A subsidy is a subsidy!

  6. Troy Jones

    Not every issue is easily broken down into easy liberal/conservative buckets.

    Farm policy is one of those.

    As much as conservatives desire the government out of “picking winners and losers,” there is a national defense component of food that can not be ignored. I get though there may be a question if the current construct of the farm bill best serves this component and should be fodder for discussion.

    As much as liberals abhor subsidies for production agriculture (vs. organic vegatable gardens), there is significant impact on the price of food that can not be ignored. Again, I get though there may be a question if the current construct best gets us cheap food and should be fodder for discussion.

    But, to ignore on both sides these in many ways competing components doesn’t serve the national debate. KN appears to grasp this complexity very well.

    1. Jake

      Troy,

      I’m not sure Noem understands the farm bill or ag issues. I’m afraid she understands the current line. There are a lot of alternatives out there to giving farmers millions of dollars in subsidies or providing subsidized crop insurance.

      Nothing kills the family farm more than federal dollars making large producers able to outspend and their smaller opponent with federal dollars.

      The current program kills the family farm.

      1. Anonymous

        Jake and Cory, have you guys ever farmed? KN grew up on a farm and after her dad died helped plan and run their farming operation for over 15 years. Besides her actual farming experience, she served on the SD State Farm Servics Committee and on the SD Soybean Board for several years. I think she definitely does understand the bill and it’s affect on farming, at least more than the vast majority of the Congressmen.

        1. Arrowhead

          Just like she understood the Supercommittee was important to getting the debt cieling issue resolved.

          I think Noem is showing us that once the government gets a toe hold on an industry it is very hard for us to ever get the Government out of it.

          Noem can’t reasonably be for direct subsidies and safety nets to farmers and anti bailouts for auto and banking industries.

          Farming might be the most important industry in SD but auto manufacturing is big for detroit and banking is big for NY and the country.

          Do we just need to start subsidizing them all?

          1. Arrowhead

            Noem needs to learn that the solution she is advocating for is not the real “solution” but the problem and the reason this country is going into debt.

            I don’t want farmers losing their business because of a bad year but I also don’t want to see restaurant owners, truckers and other small businesses going closed either. But I don’t want the Government picking winners and losers. Government subsidies kill the family farmer. It killed my farm when I couldn’t compete with big farms thriving on subsidies. Because of their size and much larger Government subsidies they had an advantage over small farms buying land etc.

          2. Anonymous

            So, you wanted her to vote to shut down the government regardless of what happens to people who really need help. You really don’t care about the tremendous hardships that would have been imposed on so many people (excluding those people who could work but are too lazy). A slower approach is many times the best, but you don’t care. You seem to have very narrow tunnel vision, only seeing whot you want and ignoring the whole view. And you say KN doesn’t understand.

            I would tend to agree with your farming statements, if a farmer is not a good manager, let them fail just like any business owner including big auto and the banks. However if government intervention is causing the problems, then anyone should be helped.

            1. Arrowhead

              Well I would have prefered Noem vote no than vote for the stupid super committee.

              I guess when they sit and bicker for most of the time they are there things get pretty bad and they throw something together at the last minute.

              Maybe the Supercommittee won’t agree on what to cut and we’ll cut everything and our country will suffer from it. If I was Obama and the D’s that is exactly what I’d do to prove we have a GOP congress unwilling to compromise.

              1. Arrowhead

                I would have rather had a clean debt cieling raise than the supercommittee.

                It was a terrible vote.

                1. Anonymous

                  I can just see it, if Noem would have voted for just the debt ceiling with no chance to cut, you would now be screaming about that vote. Let’s wait a little to see what transpires.

                  1. Arrowhead

                    I love how you establishment types just sit back and act like anyone outside of the “loop” don’t understand how the economy works.

                    I’m sure you were for TARP, and the stimulus also and now the super committee. How are all of those working for you?

  7. Roger Elgersma

    Subsidies have some economic good to start a new industry that the government wants started. But once an industry is mature it should do ok on its own in capitalistic systems where there is competition and some basic regulations to keep it fair. Agriculture in this country is so very mature with all the inventions and government funded research that it is an embarrassment to even ask for a subsidy. I am a former farmer myself so I am not naive on this. Ethanol is also mature at this point since it is being run by big business we can not fool ourself into thinking it is a bunch of beginners that need some help for not knowing how yet. So I think ethanol should have their subsidies cut also.
    As for Noem on the farm bill and government spending in general. Boehner’s bill would cut one trillion over ten years. She voted for that. But the new way of politicians talking to impress us is to tell us how much they cut over ten years to make it sound like they are ten times better than they are. I did not get fooled. That was a cut of one hundred billion per year. Not even more than about one eighth of the deficit. The Tea party was actually for balancing the budget so they did not vote for it so it went down in the House of Reps. Ried’s bill would have cut two trillion over ten years and that did not pass either. Obama’s plan of cutting four trillion over ten years failed in the Senate by 97 to 0. Clearly the congress will not pass anything that comes close to balancing the budget for fear of getting voted out. As my Dad says, “VOTE THEM ALL OUT, BOTH PARTIES”.

  8. Anonymous

    Seems like Thune & Noem spend all their time thinking up ways to cut LESS from the federal budget.

    Like Thune’s proposed subsidy for gas stations to install blender pumps, which takes away LESS from ethanol subsidies than simply ending subsidies. Shouldn’t the ethanol industry provide the funds to install blender pumps rather than the government?

    Like Noem’s plan to cut farm bill spending by $23 billion over the next 10 years, which is $10 billion LESS than the administration wants.

    Like Thune’s new plan to pay farmers for losses not covered by federally subsidized crop insurance. How’s that for privatizing gain and socializing losses?

    Hey big spenders! Can you spare a million dollars?

  9. SDREDSTONE

    When half the corn in this country is being used for ethanol the food for national defense arguement is just plain ridiculous. She sounds like a 1930’s Socialist to me. Where is the SD Tea Party on this?

  10. Anonymous

    Remember Thune, Noem, Johnson and others are more interested in winning than doing what is right. Doing what is right would solve a lot of problems but winning prevents that. Yes the beginning of farm programs protected farmers and food prices. Today they do not protect prices. The process says we must reward our friends with tax payer $$$$$ and control them.

  11. coffee house

    It’s a tough issue. Noem sidestepped this issue well in the primary always coming down much more conservative than she was. Now she is voting lock step with what big ag wants.

    I would like to see her modify her position.

  12. Anonymous

    I love it when you right wingers, vote for the subsidy Queen and the subsidy kingTHUNE FISCAL, YOU BETCHA.Imagine them blaming Obama for spending on car industries and insurance companies while the King and Queen vote for farm subsidies got to love it.

  13. Anonymous

    Everything said so far says elected officials do what the ruler says. The ruler is not the people who elect them. The ruler is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. It is amazing how so many people think that is the correct way to look at officials when walking into the booth on election day. Then again I guess it is the process that is more important than saying I have supported a crook in the past and I am now against that person. That means some look for excuses to support crooks and then tell all that is OK….

  14. grandma

    I do kind of feel duped by Noem on a lot of issues lately. Her first term has been voting for a little conservatism that hasn’t passed and then voting for a lot of big government that has. I don’t think that balances things out.

    Super committee, debt cieling, farm bill, etc etc etc.

    when are we going to stop voting on image and start voting on substance? Daugaard is actually doing a good job as a conservative Governor.

  15. Diversify

    Once upon a time before the federal government decided how farmers were supposed to farm farmers diversified their holdings with crops and livestock like chickens, eggs, cattle, dairy etc. that diversification would shield the farmers from weather conditions.

    Now the government and Noem say to farmers don’t diversify only grow crops and then if you have a bad year and the weather destroys your crops you will be bailed out.

    They say to cattle farmers only raise cattle. Don’t diversify.

    And it has resulted in the federal government continually propping up the farm economy. Evolution has been stopped.

    Noem is essentially an FDR democrat.

    1. Les

      Not sure what Noem is, but either a pawn or uneducated on her votes. MF Global’s bankruptcy is?? cause and effect of the CFTC’s lack of ability to regulate derivatives?

      “”MF Global was among at least 19 smaller broker-dealers and financial firms that pressed regulators to force swaps clearinghouses to lower entry barriers to improve competition in the $601 trillion privately negotiated derivatives market.””

      Congress including Noem still voting to not allow the CFTC the ability to regulate that deriv market. I wonder what 600 tril will do to our country/world when 14 tril debt is taking us into deep recession?

      Cotton farmers have little to do with a safe and secure food supply. The small family farm had a diversity which protected crops and food supplies.