Enlightened ramblings of a minarchist libertarian with Objectivist tendencies

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Buyout Stinks Worse Than Cigarettes

It seems that the federal government has a hard time keeping itself from throwing our money away. The latest example is the proposed "buyout" of tobacco farmers. In case you don't know what it is that is being bought, lets take a trip back to the thirties when government went on a rampant spree of socialist planning. They decided to create quotas (limits) on the amount of tobacco each farmer could grow in order to keep the price artificially inflated.

Fast forward to today. Finally, lawmakers have decided to remove these quotas, but so as not to hurt the 400,000 or so that own allotments (only 1/4 of which actively grow tobacco), they will pay them $12 billion over 10 years.

Fortunately, there are those that are willing to stand up** and call it what it is, unneeded welfare.

The battle now is too decide who to pawn this off on, the taxpayers or the cigarette manufacturers, neither of whom should be forced to pay for this. Farmers need to compete on the open market, not be coddled by the federal government.

However, don't think the government is just giving up all of its control over the tobacco industry. The farmers had to make a deal with the devil and accept FDA oversight. In addition, in the Senate version, Uncle Sam gets to continue telling them how much they can grow.

** Registration is required, but you can use this: user: thehentai@hotmail.com password: stupid


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