Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lets cut USDA expenditures promoting agricultural products in the market

According to Need to Know on PBS, USDA spends nearly $700 million per year on 17 programs which seek to increase domestic consumption of U.S. agricultural products. In this program, it supports organisations like Pizza Hut and McDonalds. In theory the program is not tax supported, but is rather paid for by contributions from farmers whose products are promoted. However, the farmers are not allowed not to make the specified contributions. That sounds like a tax to me!

It is one thing to have the government promote the sale of American goods abroad, but it is quite another thing for the government to do so at home. In this case, asking USDA both to advise the public on good nutrition habits and to promote agricultural products leads to mission confusion. The government is a good place for us to seek information on how to avoid foods that make us fat and eating habits that make us unhealthy. Lets let industry advertise its own products, at least at home.

If we are looking for ways to reduce the deficit, this is $700 million that could be better spent elsewhere!

No comments: