President Bushâ€™s 2007 Federal Budget Proposal includes two new proposals that will hurt dairy farmers in Wisconsin. The first is a reduction in the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. The proposal is to cut five percent of the current grant payments to qualifying farmers. The second is a three-cent tax per hundred-weight of milk that farmers would have to pay (estimated at about $720 annually per producer).
But this is only one small area that the budget will hurt Americans. While Bush proposes increases in homeland security and war spending, he recommends diverting funds from programs that affect Americans left and right. In addition to burdens to dairy farmers, he recommends cutting spending on health care, education, and biomedical studies (see NPR article link below).
On the other hand, spending will increase in energy (this could include bio-based sources), conservation, crop insurance, and food safety. But if you look at what’s involved, you realize that these seem to fit into the events of the past year (Katrina, increased fuel prices). NPR states that the budget would affect the environment. But increases would actually occur in environmental programs that were passed in the 2002 Farm Bill. But I’m not suggesting that other environmental areas are not at risk.
This is only the first step in the budget process. In this day and age of big corporations squeezing out the family farm, it seems that Bush is paying nothing more than lip service to the working family.