WASHINGTON--(YourMilkMoney.org in an effort to fight wrongheaded dairy legislation in the farm bill currently being considered by Congress. Lurking in the bloated $969 billion Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) is a scheme called the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), the next generation of complicated federal rules that meddle with the nation’s milk supply, keeping prices high for families who buy milk or dairy products like cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and pizza.)--Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) launched the website
“Washington should be working on ways to make federal dairy policy less, not more, burdensome to Americans struggling in this uncertain economy.”
Supporters of DMSP call it “reform,” but what it really does is create a new layer of government intervention into dairy markets and food businesses on top of existing federal rules that regulate the price of milk. One absurd consequence of DMSP is that farmers will periodically be financially penalized for exceeding government milk production “quotas,” thus artificially inflating milk prices above what they would otherwise be. Schemes like this have been imposed in other countries, including Canada, where consumers pay significantly higher prices for dairy products than in the United States and where the dairy industry has not grown for over three decades.
Worse, DMSP is a job killer; constraining supplies will make it less likely that the people who make the dairy foods that Americans enjoy will expand their plants, create new jobs, or increase exports. Furthermore, the increased dairy prices will hit low-income families the hardest, since they spend a larger percentage of their income on food. Taxpayers will suffer as well, since they foot the bill for federal nutrition assistance programs.
“The idea that the federal government would intentionally dictate how dairy farmers operate their businesses runs so counter to the way market economies function that it is hard to believe this conversation is happening at the highest levels of government,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “Like many farm policies, DMSP would be more useful in a manure spreader than in Congress.”
“When government messes with our milk, taxpayers and consumers are the ones left to pay for the mop,” said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Washington should be working on ways to make federal dairy policy less, not more, burdensome to Americans struggling in this uncertain economy.”
Taxpayers and consumers can visit YourMilkMoney.org for more information on the issue and to contact their Members of Congress in opposition to DMSP.
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. NTU is a nonpartisan citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes and limited government.
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